Second Annual Parenting/BlogHer Study of over a Thousand Moms Reveals Technology’s Impact on Family Life: Kids Hit Digital Milestones at Younger Ages

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Study finds 71% of online moms do not go more than a day without using the Internet, while 1 in 4 moms report their kids start playing with and using mobile phones by age 2.

The Parenting Group, publisher of Parenting, Babytalk and, and BlogHer, Inc., the premium cross-platform media network and publisher for women, today announced the results of their second annual study of technology’s impact on family life.

Like Parent, Like Child

According to a survey of 1,038 women released at the 2011 BlogHer Conference, Moms who go online are so reliant on access to the Internet that nearly 40% of moms say they can only go a few hours without using their mobile phone and the Internet. In contrast, only 18% say the same about television. Reflecting those priorities, mobile and Internet service are now considered a necessity, with nearly twice as many moms viewing a cell phone (79%) as a necessity over a landline (42%), the survey finds.

Taking a cue from their parents, children are using technology at ever-younger ages. In 2010, Parenting and BlogHer asked moms to weigh in on the ages that they would permit their children to own specific technologies, and the average age parents would let their children have their own mobile phone was 13 years old. In 2011, however, the parents were asked at what ages their children started using those same technologies – and found that 1 in 4 moms allowed their children to interact with a mobile phone by age 2. Children of Gen Y moms are the earliest adopters – one-third report their children have played with a laptop and a mobile phone by age 2.

When today’s children are reaching “digital milestones”:
According to the 2011 Parenting/BlogHer study, many parents are allowing their children to start using the following technologies by the time they reach age 4:

  •     60% of children have used a computer
  •     43% have used a digital camera
  •     32% have used a smart phone
  •     25% have used an iPod
  •     14% have used a tablet computer

Me-Time vs. We-Time

The Parenting/BlogHer study reveals different preferences for me-time vs. kid-time vs. family-time. The majority of Moms turn to Facebook (81%) and blogs (57%) on a daily basis to communicate with one another, only 2% report using Facebook to communicate with their children daily. YouTube, on the other hand, has become a family media channel, with 45% of moms reporting that they watch YouTube video together as a family. Meanwhile, moms report that one of the many benefits they derive from their own mobile phone is actually as a toy/diversion for their toddler (23%) or as a game device for their kids (15%).

“Digging deeper into how technology is really used by the family, we see it integrated into every facet of family life,” said Elisa Camahort Page, Co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc. “Whether it’s seeking advice from other moms who blog, staying in constant touch with text messaging or delivering pure entertainment and play, parents have identified, particularly, the Internet and their mobile devices as their ‘desert island’, can’t-live-without technologies of choice.”

“This study has proven that a new picture of modern ‘family time’ is starting to emerge,” said Mark Wildman, VP and Group Publisher, The Parenting Group. “With parents and kids gathered around the laptop to watch user-generated videos, and toddlers using mom’s cell phone to learn their ABC’s, our reliance on staying connected is providing children with the opportunity to interact with technology at a much earlier age.”

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Survey methodology
The Parenting/BlogHer study was conducted among 1,038 members of The Parenting Group’s nationally-representative MomConnection research panel and BlogHer’s publishing network July 11-July 18, 2011. The margin of error is at + or – 3.04%.

About The Parenting Group
The Parenting Group, home of the Parenting, Babytalk, Working Mother and Conceive brands, reaches families over 15 million times every month through magazines, digital media, custom content, and events. TPG’s publications include: Parenting School Years, for families with children in kindergarten through elementary school; Parenting Early Years, for families with infants, toddlers and preschoolers; Babytalk, for new moms and moms-to-be; and Working Mother, for career-minded moms. TPG’s other media properties include: Conceive, for women trying to get pregnant, the Babytalk Pregnancy Planner; the and web sites; MomConnection®, a nationally-representative online research network; and a custom content unit. The Parenting Group is a division of Bonnier Corporation.

About BlogHer
Reaching more than 26 million women each month (Nielsen Site Census, July 2011), BlogHer is the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women social media leaders. BlogHer created and leads the marketplace with the most robust economic and networking opportunities for women in social media and brands seeking to engage in authentic and persuasive dialog with them. Founded in February 2005 by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, BlogHer publishes and syndicates news, information, advice and recommendations to and from 2,500 premium blogs, delivers uniquely insightful research on women in social media across interest areas, hosts the world’s largest conferences for women in social media and curates a daily news service, BlogHer’s investors are Venrock, GE/NBC Universal's Peacock Equity Fund, and Azure Capital Partners.


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Elaine Wu
BlogHer, Inc.
(650) 551-1364 x 245
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Catherine McManus
The Parenting Group
212-779-5315 Cell: 646-245-0821
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