The Today Show Defines the Digital Mom, Part One.

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So while changing a funky diaper this morning, I happened to have on the Today Show. I usually get about a half hour with Meredith and Matt before I am onto other things in my day. And it was probably going to be switched off right after that diaper change had I not heard the intro to a series about “Digital Moms”.

Wait a second. That’s me!

C’s “Pull Up” got pulled up right quick, I hastily ushered him over to his favorite chalk board and ran back to turn up the volume. And this is what I watched.

Initially I was excited. Yes, here’s focus being given to moms and all that they can do from home and online! So cool!

Um… hold on. Did the Today Show really portray what a “digital mom” is truly all about?

I know its only the first part of the series but so far, I am a little disappointed. Here are my thoughts.

First of all, every woman should in fact follow Laura Fortner’s advice. Yes, use the Internet anyway you need to. If that means finding support groups while you wrestle life as a parent, do it. By all means. Its WAY  cheaper than therapy. I’ve got great online friends who have supported me through good and bad. I get it. Women SHOULD connect this way.

And I most certainly use twitter and facebook socially (as well as to promote what I do). In this bloggy world, you have to make personal connections with people if anyone is to take you seriously. That’s the irony about blogging. While it seems rather anti-social to work alone at a computer – it is actually interactive, personal work. But twitter and facebook are certainly not the be all and end all for me. I take no issue if that’s all some moms use the Internet for, just as long as twitter and facebook aren’t what “digital moms” are defined by.

However, the Today Show seemed to portray the digital mom as a social Internet butterfly flitting from one social network to another, hardly offering anything of much value, prioritizing their iphones and laptops over time with their children.

From where I sit in with dirty diaper in hand, the Today Show doesn’t get it yet.  Seriously. They have only just scratched the deeply faceted surface of a very complex system. Women online today are kicking some virtual ass and taking names. While nursing babies on three hours of sleep or running children to little league, they are reaching out in ways that affect important change. They are standing up for what women deserve, interviewing future presidents and representing mothers at the Democratic National Convention. They write, they rally, they fight, they work hard, they make us laugh ( a lot ), they give, they think, they educate, they share, and they even make money doing it. All while being moms. From home. With a laptop in front of them and toys scattered at their feet.

And here’s the funny thing. Businesses and PR companies actually get what digital moms are all about. (Think back to that all expenses paid trip to NYC I just went on.) Why do they get it? Because mothers are the ones spending the money and digital moms are the ones writing about where they spend it. And digital moms are not some untrained variety of advertisers, happy to plug any product for free stuff. These moms tell it how it is, the good, the bad and the ugly. Consumers are drawn to these women’s perspectives because they write well, they write from the heart and lots of people follow what they have to say.

But I do have to say this. The Today Show isn’t the only one scrambling to get it. As my friend Mary pointed out to me today, you have to be in it, to get it. And that is so true. I can’t tell you how many times my friends eyes glaze over when I talk about blogging. And I take no offense at all. Because writing and connecting and working online isn’t everyone’s bag. We all do our own thing, its all good.

But if you are a news source, wouldn’t you try a little harder to get it and not just piece together a cute story about what seems to be a new cyber hobby for bored moms?

So anyway, its only the start of a series. Maybe I have my panties in a bunch way too soon. I could be jumping the gun, this could be really great for all digital moms. Still, I did send a message to @todayshow on Twitter today asking them to consider attending the Blogher conference in Chicago. If they still don’t get it by the end of this series, that conference will set them straight. BlogHer represents the diversity, the smarts and the know how of real digital moms today. And it’s something to be reckoned with.

Well, I’ve had my say. I promise to stay tuned into the series. (Wendy aka @eMom will be on tomorrow. I was lucky enough to meet her at Seaworld. Go Wendy!) I will certainly post later in the week with my perspective once again. “Oh great”, I hear you groan.

Ah well.

I am digital mom, hear me post.

Peace out.

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10 Comments

Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Communication, Mothers, Twitter, Women, Working moms

10 responses to “The Today Show Defines the Digital Mom, Part One.

  1. Wouldn’t it be great if they could get past the whole Dooce thing (not that she doesn’t deserve her place). But why is it so difficult for them to understand that we, as women and mothers, are about so much more. It ain’t rocket science.

  2. I’m posting about this tomorrow. Still kind of riled up!

    Great post, by the way. LOVED it.

  3. I have had it with Dooce. Get over it. There are more soda brands than Coke. As for social media, it’s new wave, not a mommy wave. We do not replace face-to-face relationships; we supplement and enhance them…all while parenting. And doing a damn good job at it.

  4. Wow. You got me to watch part of The Today Show … that doesn’t happen often. 🙂

    Great post. Excellent points. Thanks for this!

  5. Great post! The segment did seem very fluffy, like we just sit around and blog about stupid shit and offer nothing to the world! I’m off to send my own note to The Today Show! Thanks for the kick in the butt I needed!

  6. DWJ

    Great post! I think you made a good point though, a lot of times you have to be in it to understand it. You know people think blogs take about 30 seconds to write and we magically get audiences. This is like another job for me! And I totally couldn’t imagine doing all of this AND having a child!

  7. DWJ – You reminded me about another point that should be made. Women influencers out there are not always mothers either. The term “digital moms” seems focused on moms who are home with their kids and online, blogging, etc.- but they are only part of this very large, complex picture.

  8. Every time I hear that some morning “news” show is going to be discussing female bloggers, I get a sick feeling in my stomach. And? I have yet to be proven wrong.

    I’m still pissed off about Kathy Lee ripping Heather Armstrong a new one because she was “exploiting” her children. Kathy Lee. The woman who did not shut up about every little detail of her kids’ lives on national television every single day for over a decade. Seriously?

    They don’t get it, and I guess that’s fine, but it would be really awesome if they would quit pretending they do.

  9. Maggie – Grooooaaaan, Kathy Lee can #suckit. Talk about not getting it. Wow. The reality is, MSM shows like this very often love a quick, clean story. Complexities take too much time and lose viewers. So. Mommies online. How cute. Next subject. *BUT* they are doing a series, they did a lot better today, I’m trying to give props where props are due. They’re taking a stab at it. How cute.

  10. Amen. They need to be interviewing you, sweetness. You said a mouthful.

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