About Those New Year’s Resolutions…

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It’s the last day of February. Are you still following your new year’s resolutions?

I tend to make the same resolutions every year: have better posture, eat more whole foods, and be more present. And related to the last one… put the screen down.

It’s the worst when my child says to me, “Mom, put your phone down!” Or, “Mom, look at me!” Oops. I’m guilty.

But mobile devices, particularly social media and content spread via the sites and apps we access through these devices, comprise a huge part of what I do professionally – to market products and services to you as a mom. The struggle is real.

A recent study showed 53 percent of millennial moms said mobile devices help them shop better for their families, compared to 42 percent of Gen X moms and 29 percent of baby boomer mothers. And the same percent of parents with young kids stated they use mobile devices to keep their children entertained.

Ah, it’s so hard to fight against something that that simplifies and entertains.

And so the screens-versus-families guilt war rages on. Is it realistic to think we can turn off the screens? Recently I addressed a regional healthcare communicators’ group about the constant fight. These devices are part of today’s lifestyle. So what if instead of working against screens, we worked with them?

What if brands created gaming apps that moms and kids were encouraged to play together? What if companies launched mobile-based scavenger hunt apps that would get families outside together – kind of like geo-caching as a family activity? Maybe a food brand offered a “kids in the kitchen” app that suggested online recipes that required a different family member to do each of the various steps?

Consider where tots are getting those devices – they’re borrowing mom’s phone or they’re benefitting from mom’s hand-me-down phone. I find myself advising brands to make their apps relevant to both moms and kids in order to truly help the moms they’re trying to target.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution like mine to be more mindful of screen time? How often do you use your mobile device to shop or to entertain your kids? Is your struggle real, too?

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