First, I want to share the great news -- Time Out Chicago has shown the Cosmo Mom some love! They wrote a nice article about my parenting.com blog, specifically the dual life I lead as a working mom at Playboy, and working mom-blogger at Parenting. Check it out when you have a sec; I'd love to hear your thoughts! The article's in their print edition, and online here, with a bonus photo gallery. Thanks, Time Out Chicago!
So, I'm blogging from the road again, this time from Austin, Texas, where I've been attending the SXSW Interactive conference since last Thursday. A SXSWi virgin, I feel a little out of my element among all the tech geeks and new media wunderkinds, but in a good way. I came here with a couple of my lady friends from Playboy; we're here to soak up the atmosphere, and check out as many panels, discussions and networking events with said tech geeks and new media wunderkinds as possible, over five days of the festival. It's been a really productive trip so far: On Sunday, I got a makeover (like I said, productive!) from pro stylist Jo Blackwell-Preston, along with Rachel Sklar, Editor-at-Large at Mediaite, who cut off 10 inches of her hair for Locks of Love, for a panel we both participated in later that day called "Extreme Makeover: Profile Edition" (yes, even moms need makeover tips for their online profiles). Blackwell-Preston advised me that, as a new mom, I shouldn't do anything drastic to my hair (or profile probably) -- she should know, she's a mom of three -- so she gave me just a few layers for my new mommy 'do. I'll post a link to the photos as soon as they're online.
Among other conference highlights, I attended a lively panel with the adorbs Damian Kulash from OK Go about how to make a quality viral video (think boobs and kittens). Separately, I also met the young co-founder of the location-based social network Foursquare, Naveen Salvadurai, who served as a simple yet nudging reminder of just how unhip a person I am. I have yet to use Foursquare; there, I said it. But when you spend most of your free time at home with your baby and husband, you don't need to check in with a location-based social networking tool to know that you're the freaking president of your own household. (And I'm well aware of the fact that joke probably went over most of your heads.)
Though wouldn't it be fun if there was a Foursquare type tool for busy moms on the go?
If you're feeling out of touch with emerging technology, don't worry...it's only going to get more complicated. Every time I stood in line for Starbucks, I either got or overheard the 20-second elevator pitch on some new startup or application that I couldn't quite grasp. But there are only so many times you can ask a wunderkind to repeat himself before he's onto his next web app, or someone else in line with a deeper understanding of Twitter.
I also attended a panel called "Cybersex 2.0" -- and now I'm not just a 35-year-old former party girl who has missed the boat on Foursquare, I'm a parent who's worried that her son is going to "sext" inappropriateness to his girlfriend when he's 12. (I'd rather he just innocently check in with Foursquare, frankly.)
How is emerging technology changing the way we parent?
I realize I'm getting a little ahead of myself -- after all, Preston is only six months old. By the time he's 12 there'll be much simpler ways for parents to control what their kids are doing online. Um, sure there will be. But I want to know, how do you think emerging technology is changing the way we parent? Do you worry that your kids are going to understand the technology better than you will? How will you control what they're doing online, if that's the case?