THE RISE OF THE GLAMs

New research from O2 reveals that mums are leading the charge towards technology in the home. The report reveals that:

  • Technology in the family home is controlled by mums ‘ Two-thirds of mums claim to be in charge of using gadgets at home
  • Mums are embracing social networking ‘ Over four-fifths of mums use Facebook, three-fifths use Skype and even a quarter use Twitter to stay in touch with close friends and family
  • Dad’s role as tech expert becomes redundant – Mums no longer feel they need their husbands to organise technology in the home with over a quarter believing that they know more about technology than their partners, and a further two-fifths stating they know more than their husbands think they do
  • Technology is making family life easier to manage ‘ Two-thirds of mums believe that it has made it easier to manage their family life and nearly half believe it has made them a more efficient mum

The second part of O2’s Digital Families research today reveals that despite their reputation as the technology ‘handbrake’ in the home, UK mums are actually becoming the uber-geeks of their families.  Despite many mums still thinking that they aren’t tech-savvy, when questioned on who uses gadgets at home, the majority revealed that they are actually in charge of controlling the main gadgets including the television (56%), Sky+ (66%), digital radio (65%) and Skype (58%).

There is also growing confidence amongst mums about managing digital technology in the home with over a quarter of mums (27%) believing that they know more about technology than their partners.  However, this may come as a surprise to men as nearly two-fifths (38%) of mums believe that they know more about technology than their partners actually think they do.

Based on their attitudes and how quickly these mums are picking up and using technology, the O2 Digital Families Report has identified a new type of mother emerging in UK society, the Gadget-Loving Active Mums (GLAMs). The research was conducted to support the O2 Joggler, a new device to help families manage their busy lives.

These findings provide a revealing insight into the role that technology plays in helping mothers better manage both their family and their own lives.

Maintaining relationships

As lives get busier, mums are increasingly turning to technology to help them keep in touch with friends and family. Social networks like Facebook are growing in popularity with over four-fifths (84%) of mums now admitting to being signed up to these sites.  Of these, over half say they are regular users, spending over an hour a week on the site, with nearly one in ten admitting that they spend over an hour a day on social networks.  And they aren’t just following the crowd, but leading it, with a quarter (23%) of mums claiming that they already use Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news, gossip and information.

At the heart of the home

The report shows that mums now truly believe that technology deserves to be at the heart of the family home.  Two-thirds (66%) of mothers feel that gadgets are invaluable at making it easier for them to manage family life, and nearly half (45%) believe that it makes them more efficient mums as well.

Debbie Daley, mother of world champion diver Tom Daley, explains: ‘With three children under 15 and working part-time myself, it wouldn’t be easy in normal circumstances to manage family life.  But with Tom’s training schedule meaning that he trains for several hours a day, six days a week, I really do need to be organised to make sure that everything at home runs smoothly.  I find technology like my O2 Joggler and online calendar invaluable at making sure everyone knows what’s happening every day and no appointments get forgotten about.  Without these sorts of technology, I’d definitely find it a lot harder to fit everything in!’

With similar issues of fitting everything in facing many mothers, it’s perhaps no surprise that the research shows that technology for the home is more important for mums than for their partners. If faced with a choice over which gadgets to buy, mums would prioritise ones that make family life run more smoothly such as TVs (39%), washing machines (29%) and dishwashers (28%).  However, their husbands are still more focussed on entertaining themselves and would choose to games consoles (34%) and Sky subscriptions (33%) instead.

Women are also concerned about men’s attitudes to digital technology at home with nearly half of mums (42%) admitting to being worried about how the amount of time their husbands spend using technology at home.  Over a third (34%) wish that their partners spent less time browsing the internet and over three in ten (31%) would love their partners to use the Blackberries much less at home.

 

Children and technology

Mums seem comfortable with their children using technology and nearly two-thirds (61%) believe that access to the internet, social networks and even playing computer games can help them develop new skills.  However, over half (54%) of mums do worry that technology is making their children more worldly than they were at their age.  They are therefore more likely than their partners to implement parental controls online (64%) and more closely supervise their children’s internet activities (36%).

Despite these concerns, mums conclude that technology plays a hugely positive part in both their and their children’s lives.  In fact, nearly half of mums now believe that technology is now even more important to them now than before they became a mother.

‘The ability to communicate, organise and marshal their family through technology has become a must-have for many mothers,’ said Alistair Johnston, O2’s Marketing Director. ‘The report reveals that mums are now truly embracing technology and making it work to their advantage.  At O2, we believe that technology like the new O2 Joggler can be a huge advantage for mothers, making it easier for them to manage family life, and ultimately help them spend more quality time together as a family.’

Visit www.o2.co.uk/family for more information on the O2 Joggler and O2’s family propositions.