“Can you hear that?” my mother shouts arm’s length distance from the phone.
“What am I listening for?” I reply.
“A buzzing and whooshing sound, coming from my computer,” she yells again.
This is just an example of the tech support request calls I get on the regular from my cute little mama. She only calls about once a month or less for her gadget questions, but I can’t say how many times she’s calling her wireless Internet provider.
According to a survey we conducted at Trend Micro to commemorate Mother’s Day, about a quarter of you are in the same boat as me, getting these calls about once a month (the survey dives into perceptions of moms’ technology and device knowledge). My heart goes out to the 8 percent of you who said their tech-challenged moms contact them once a day (Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Premium Tech Support Package from Trend Micro. Yikes.
About how often does your mom contact you for IT advice?
Tech support calls aside, my mom is definitely more tech savvy than most, considering one third of you say teaching mom how to use devices is like watching the movie “Clueless.” For my mom, she’s more like the movie, “Easy A” (17% of moms). She’s able to stay connected to her work and personal life using two PC computers (one laptop, one desktop), one netbook and an iPhone. My mom is active on Facebook, checks-in on FourSquare, and is a frequent mobile SMS texter. She even uses the Roku box I set up for her to watch streaming TV and movies!
Teaching your mom to use her latest device or gadget is like what movie?
Similarly to the moms reviewed in our survey where more than half have been hit by a virus, my mom has fallen prey to online threats like spam (she was recently clickjacked, which happens to the best of us).
We love our moms, and we want to make their lives easier with technology, so we keep buying them new gadgets (see graph 3). For a majority of us, that gift includes free tech support for life, 24/7/365.
If you were to buy your mom an electronic device for Mother’s Day what would it most likely be?
Maybe we’re gluttons for punishment, or maybe we just want to be there for mom, like she’s always been there for us. I love you, Mom!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Shannon McCarty-Caplan and her mom, Connie McCarty.
For some great tips and activities to help moms and all members of the family improve and safeguard their digital lifestyles, please visit http://www.trendmicro.com/us/home/internet-safety/index.html. You can read the full survey here. 1,037 respondents completed the online poll, and the sample is representative of the US Census on age, gender and region. The survey, conducted by Cint USA, was sponsored by Trend Micro on April 23-25, 2013.
Please add your thoughts in the comments below or follow me on Twitter; @smccartycaplan.