There was a point in my life where I absolutely did not want a cell phone. After the stress of planning a wedding I was ready to be unreachable for a while. No more phone calls asking me “Has this been done yet?”, no more calls from work asking if I could come in right away, no more ring-a-lings interrupting my quiet coffee out. If someone wanted to get in touch with me, they could call my house and leave a message. Very few things actually require to be communicated immediately and I was very happy in my little sphere of silence for a while.
Once I got pregnant however, I became disenchanted with my technologically lacking life. It didn’t happen right away, but the desire for a cell phone – a smartphone – soon started to grow.
“What if I go into labour when I’m out getting groceries?!” I pleaded with my husband. “What if there is a pregnancy emergency when I’m not at home and I can’t get in touch with you?! What if I get into a car accident?!“
“Laura, we just can’t afford an iPhone right now”, my husband tried reasoning with me.
But an iPhone was all I was willing to be happy with. I decided that I would not settle for another cheap, pay-as-you-go talk and text cell phone because I knew as soon as I got that, an iPhone would be off the table.
This desire for an iPhone didn’t make sense when paired with my arguments for needing a cell. Any old cell phone would be able to call my husband in a pregnancy emergency or a car accident. But I needed a smartphone. I needed an iPhone.
Earlier this year, BabyCenter released a report titled “21st Century Mobile Mom Report” “which revealed that mobile phones – and smartphones in particular – have become indispensable to moms, who are 18% more likely than average to have a smartphone” (source).
It is true. My iPhone has become indispensable to me. It is a handy little device that allows my husband to let me know that Cameron needs more milk and it keeps me occupied with fun little games like Angry Birds.
But for Moms, smartphones are more than just a texting and gaming device. A Mom’s smartphone is an important tool in her toolbox – one that makes her job as a mother easier and arguably better. According to Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President of BabyCenter, “Mobile isn’t just a media channel, it’s her constant companion that makes juggling easier. It makes her feel like a better mom.” (source).
In my opinion, smartphones are even more than cameras and organizers and grocery lists and menstrual calendars (you know you have one) and a distraction for children. They are our connection to other stories, other experiences, other Moms. Honestly, I am sure that this is the reason so many Moms are “addicted” to their smartphones (according to the Mobile Mom Report). Moms use their mobile phones to update their status on Facebook, to read and comment on blogs, to engage in online forum discussions, to Tweet, and to lookup parenting and health advice.
53% of the women surveyed in the Mobile Mom Report claim to have bought a smartphone as “a direct result” of becoming a Mom. You can count me among those numbers. My phone helps keep me connected and with the help of my phone and social media, I have created friendships and relationships with other Moms who support me through this journey.
Moms aren’t “addicted” to their smartphones as much as they are “addicted” to connecting with other Moms. Or at least, that’s my story.