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Unplugging from Technology

by Michelle on May 15, 2013
category: Technology

computer child

In today’s society, we often find ourselves completely submerged into everything technology.  Have you ever sat back and watched your day unfold and realize how much technology you are plugged into throughout your day?

While waiting for a doctor’s appointment one day, I read an article about a family who changed their ways as a family, and unplugged from everything technology. This particular article went on to say how much it has drastically improved the family unit, how much they actually talk to each other at the dinner table, and how much they truly enjoy getting back to the grass roots of being a true family.

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Facebook and Other Joys: “The Internet Is Crucial To My Well-Being.”

by Dawn on January 16, 2009
category: Cool websites,In the news,Pop culture,Technology

This is a quote from a video I saw on Yahoo! this week.  It featured a mom named Erica, who writes for The Boston Globe and a mom website, Bo-Moms.   She was talking about whether or not Facebook makes you a bad mom.  The interview highlighted the pros and cons of online interaction with friends throughout the day, namely through Facebook, and concluded that, like any other hobby that a mom has, it is healthy – in moderation.

I enjoyed the interview, basically because I felt like I could relate to Erica so well.  She shared a story about her 2-year old physically grabbing her hand off of her mouse in an attempt to get her attention.  Yeah, occasionally things like that happen around here. :)  

I am a huge fan of Facebook.  It is a great way for me to stay connected to all of my dear, distant friends – and like the moms mentioned in the video, it helps me feel connected to the world outside my own little house.  I occasionally have an intelligent thought rattling around my brain – one not related to grilled cheese sandwiches or potty-training – and I relish the opportunity to share those thoughts with someone older than the age of 3.  Facebook is fabulous for that.

I always hear people say, “It’s a time-waster!” Yes, it certainly can be!  The key is however much time we spend on Facebook or any other internet activity is really our choice.  The interview discusses this: making a plan that suits your family best, whether it’s to get online for 30 minutes a day or to wait till the kids are asleep (which is what I do), and to keep family time the first priority.  If it’s something that keeps your emotional well-being strong, it’s not a bad thing.  Erica also says that “you’ll just know” if it’s taking too much of your time, the same way we try to keep our other hobbies in check.  At that point, we should just turn off the computer and settle in doing something else (with the kids!).

Do you use Facebook?  Do you like it?  How do you keep a healthy balance of internet time (or “me” time) and family time?  All practical suggestions are welcome!

Don’t Know What To Blog About?

by McKenna on September 30, 2008
category: Cool websites,Humor/Random,Technology

question_mark.jpeg There are no rules when it comes to blogging.  Some blogs exist to keep friends and family up to date on family happenings, some are to document weight loss, some blogs are specific to product reviews, some blogs document outfits worn each and every day, and some blogs are devoted to saving the world from “unnecessary” quotation marks.  Anyone can have a blog!  One very trendy way to keep your blog fresh is to participate in themes of the day.  Here’s some popular recurring blog entries you can participate in to keep your blog fun to read and also network with other people on the internet!  So, the next time you have writer’s block on your blog, try joining one of these hosted blog events!  You may even make a friend or two along the way!

SUNDAY

  • grainsofgratitude.gif Grains of GratitudeBrady’s Bunch hosts Grains of Gratitude every Sunday and invites participants to blog about what they are thankful for.   I think this is a great opportunity for people to focus on what they are grateful for and Sunday could not be a more perfect day for that reflection!

MONDAY

  • Photobucket Magic Marker Monday!   Hosted by 5 Minutes for Special Needs, every Monday participates post a picture of their child’s artwork for the week.  This includes pictures of artwork made at school, at home, on the walls of your living room, or anywhere else your child has expressed his or her artistic side.  They ask that you leave them a comment to let them know you participated in this event! :D

TUESDAY

  • Tackle It Tuesday Meme Tackle It Tuesday!  This event is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom and invites participants to pick a household project needing to be done.  They can be big or small.  The idea is to take a before and after picture of you project.  I have watched a friend of mine participate in this blog event and it’s been really good at keeping her motivated and productive!  I’m impressed with her Tuesday productivity!

WEDNESDAY

  • wordless2.gif Wordless Wednesday This has got to be the most popular blog theme event in the blogging community.  It’s everywhere!  On Wednesdays, bloggers are invited to post a picture without any words.  I have seen some creative blog entries on W.W.  You can be as creative or as simple as you like on W.W. and you can be confident that many a blogger is participating in this event, so you will not be alone!
  • Other Wednesday events include, Weightloss Wednesday.  On Weightloss Wednesdays, bloggers blog about their weightloss journey and usually  include their weight and measurements.  Apparently, blogging your weight is the best kept weightloss secret around!!  There’s something about telling the world how much you weigh that motivates you to lose that weight!  A friend of mine lost 26.5 lbs while sharing her weightloss journey with all of her blog readers!  It was quite impressive to follow.

What fun blog themes have you enjoyed participating in? What are some Thursday, Friday, and Saturday blog themes you’ve seen? 

5 Reasons Why Moms Blog

by Amanda on September 22, 2008
category: Technology

typingblog.jpg This morning my local Fox News affiliate came to my house and interviewed me about mom blogging. The story will air here in San Antonio onTuesday in the morning and evening news. I will be sure to post the video when I get it!

The interview got me to thinking about why moms like to blog. We do have a lot going on in our lives with kids, family, and house demands, but we carve out time in our day to share our thoughts with the world. Here is why I think we like to blog, but let me know in the comment section why you like to blog and give a shout out for your blog!

1. It is easy to chronicle our lives online.  Have ever you gone back in your blog’s history? It is fun to see what we were thinking about at the time and what our children looked like.

2. For family and friends to keep up with your kids. I have a separate family blog where I post my daughter’s photos mostly for family who don’t live in the same town. I know many moms who would have never started a blog if it weren’t for having children and showing them off to family out of town.

3. You don’t have to leave your house to connect with friends. Imagine if we all used cameras when we  blogged! Could you imagine what we would look like? I love being able to keep up with friends both out of town and in town through their blogs. I sometimes feel like I know my friends better through their blog than I do in real life.

4. To share our opinions and use our brains! My day consists of teaching Annabelle colors, shapes, and numbers. It is nice to get online and form complete sentences. When I write for The Mom Crowd I try to be thoughtful and helpful. I need the mental exercise to stay sane!

5. To get support and encourage other moms.  I have read quite a few posts asking for help and what to do in certain situations. It is a great place to get feedback.  Sometimes we just need to hear “I have been through that and you aren’t crazy.”  Receiving sympathy comments are nice too. So you could even say that we blog for comments. I know I wouldn’t be the first to admit it.

Leave a comment and let us  know why you blog! Why do you think mom blogging has become so popular? Also, give a shout out for your blog!

Mommies Online

by McKenna on April 17, 2008
category: Inspiration,Technology

Online networking for moms is growing at rocket speeds! I haven’t been on the sidelines observing, either. I have a Myspace and a Facebook account. I am obviously very active at The Mom Crowd and also maintain two personal blogs. I have been very involved in a forum for parents of children with Down syndrome and am a regular lurker on four (ok, like 5 or 6 or 7 or 8…I refuse to count!) other forums. I have a long list of yahoo groups to which I belong to. My extended family has a private online forum to stay connected. I read a few billion personal blogs regularly. I even have started connecting with God online by reading bible passages online and following a daily devotional blog for moms. I check my email way too many times during the day and have an ridiculous feeling of sadness when there are no new messages. Instant messaging is about the only thing I’ve not become addicted to in this online networking world. In fact, the whole reason I started thinking about my online networking is from a daily devotional I read nowhere else but ONLINE!

Why do I love online networking? Online networking doesn’t require a clean shirt or make-up, it doesn’t interrupt nap time like face-to-face visiting or phone calls do, you can connect with someone at any hour of the day, you can screen potential friends and avoid taking the relationship to the next level if you don’t feel an instant connection, it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends, and an even greater way to meet new friends who have similar journeys as yourself.

Moms are so busy taking care of their families that finding time for themselves is nearly impossible. Having children has isolated me physically, mentally, and spiritually. There will be spans of time that go by where the only other adults I’ve seen are the occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist, a couple doctors, and my husband. When I’m in waiting rooms or check-out lines I have caught myself trying to become B.F.F. with the clerk or receptionist because I’ve been so starved for adult face-to-face interaction. I rarely have energy to go through all the steps involved to leave the house to grab a diet coke and planning a playdate or moms night out requires brain cells that I lost during childbirth. Blogging, chatting, and online networking is such a great way for me to not feel isolated.

The problem with online networking becomes when friendships and interactions are limited to the computer. While online buddies can provide so much, there is nothing like a friend who is “real.” By real, I mean someone you can call on the phone or swing by and have a cup of coffee with or ask to pick up a diet coke for you while they’re out getting their’s. I have made some of my very close friends via the internet, specifically through the forum for parents of children with Down syndrome. Through that online group, I was able to find moms close in age to me, who had a child with Down syndrome close in age to Darah, and who had similar backgrounds and beliefs. Finding local moms who fit all those criteria has been difficult for me, so I am so incredibly thankful for this online forum. However, my local Down Syndrome Association (which of course also has its own yahoo group) has given me much needed support and encouragement, just in a different way.

Here are some things I’ve learned about my online networking:

  • I am always on the look-out for ways to make my internet time more productive and efficient. I discovered GoogleReader which notifies me when one of my favorite blogs has been updated. This saves me time from visiting my whole list of blogs only to see that I’ve already read the most recent entry.
  • I try to keep a “quality vs. quantity” perspective and have slowed down on making new friends online and have focused on investing in the friendships I’ve already made online.
  • I recognize my need for local friendships. I’m a very busy person (aren’t all moms?), but spending that face-to-face time with another friend is something that should not be at the bottom of my list of priorities. I recently signed my children up for Kindermusik and gymnastics which keeps me regularly connected with a group of moms each week.

What about you? How has online networking helped you as a mom? Has it hindered you in any way? Do you have any tricks to keep your online addiction under control?

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