Zesty Moms – You’re probably already on the great websites, own the latest gadgets, and gizmos that make life in this digital age easier and more fun. But while some of us go high-tech at every turn, others prefer a more old-school approach. Take this two minute quiz to find out if you are savvier than your neighbor?
A. Mail prints and a nice letter describing the day's events
B. Send a mass e-mail with a few great photos attached
C. Post video on YouTube and photos on Flickr and link to everything from your blog.
A. Buy it. You'll return it if it doesn't work out.
2. You're at the warehouse store and see what seems like a great price on an HDTV, but you're not familiar with the brand. You:
B. Go home and Google the brand name to see what comes up, then do some research on Amazon,
Consumer Reports, and the manufacturer's website
C. Pull out your iPhone or BlackBerry right there in the store and see what people are saying about that
model on CNET, Engadget, and Newegg
A. Knock on your neighbor's door
3. When you feel the need for mom connection, you:
B. Dash off a quick e-mail or call a mom friend to set up a playdate
C. Send a Twitter update saying, "I'm lonely, call me!" and change your Facebook status to "Needs adult
4. To organize the pictures from your recent family vacation, you'll: A. Get out the paper cutters and glue dots: It's scrappin' time!
B. Upload your digital photos to a photo-sharing site like Shutterfly, Snapfish, or KodakGallery
C. Pull out your Wacom electronic illustration tablet to customize your shots for digital scrapbooking
5. Your can't-live-without-it tech gadgets are:A. Microwave, home phone, and TV
B. Cell phone, iPod, and TiVo
C. iPhone or BlackBerry and a home media center that combines computing, TV, Web browsing, DVR,
music, gaming, and more
6. When it's time to plan a family trip, you:A. Call your travel agent
B. Surf around on Travelocity, Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, or the airline websites
C. Use Kayak, SideStep or Mobissimo to compare prices across multiple travel sites, then check Farecast to
decide when to buy and SeatGuru to book the best plane seats possible
7. How do you usually chat with far-flung relatives?A. Your home phone — you pay a flat fee for unlimited long distance
B. Your cell phone — you use the free long distance that comes with your plan
C. Your webcam — you made sure to set one up for them the last time you visited
8. When you're out and about and your cell phone rings, you:A. Worry! No one calls your cell unless it's an emergency — you don't usually give the number out or use it
B. Start digging around in your purse — you keep forgetting to leave your phone in an easily accessible
C. Answer immediately. Two words: Bluetooth headset.
A. Call your best friend later and ask her what happened
9. You're out to dinner with the family and realize you're about to miss the latest episode of CSI. You:
B. Don't stress — you're pretty sure your TiVo will record it for you, and if not, you'll try to find it online
C. Get on your smartphone and check your online TiVo scheduling to make sure it's recording as planned
A. None really — you'd rather see, touch, and try things on before you buy, and talk to the sales associates
10. What are your go-to sites for online shopping?
B. The websites for your favorite brick-and-mortar stores, a few online boutiques, and eBay
C. Same as B. — but you make sure to check prices on comparison-shopping sites and search for coupon
codes before you buy
11. Family movie night is coming up! To choose a flick, you go to:A. The movie rental store or the library
B. Your Netflix queue
C. Your computer — you're set up to stream or download a movie directly to your HDTV
12. The grandparents want new photos of their little darlings right away! You:
A. Grab your camera and take some cute shots of your kids playing. You'll splurge for one-hour photo
processing and put the prints in the mail pronto.
B. Upload some of your recent digital pictures to a photo-processing center in their town and tell Gram and
Pop-pop they'll have new prints today
C. E-mail some new photos to the WiFi digital photo frame you gave them. The new pics should be flashing in
their home momentarily!
13. Your kids love to go online, so you make sure to:A. Keep the computer where you can see it and check on them frequently
B. Same as A. — plus, review the history tab on your browser to see which sites they're visiting
C. Same as A. — plus, use programs like Spector Pro or WebWatcher, or the parental controls on a Mac, to
keep track of all their online activity
Congratulations, you finished the quiz! Now, look back over your answers — did you check mostly A, B, or C?
Personal Purist — You may not be the most tech-savvy mom around, but you make no apologies for it. Sure, you carry a cell phone, check your e-mail, and use the Internet. But you like to have that personal touch to everything you do, and e-mails and text messages can leave you feeling chilly. You much prefer a phone call, handwritten note, or face-to-face meeting.
In today's hectic and sometimes impersonal world, your style is a breath of fresh air — and we're certainly not going to suggest that you change it. But if you are interested in exploring high-tech tools, know that there are many easy-to-use, free websites that fit nicely with your sociable, friendly nature. You may be surprised by how many old friends you'll find hanging out on Facebook or Bebo.
And while the calendar in the kitchen may work just fine for organizing your family's comings and goings, you may want to check out online helpers like the super user-friendly Cozi. Not only will it manage a color-coded family calendar for you, it will also send e-mail and text reminders for important events and keep track of your shopping list.
Other sites that suit Personal Purists are Etsy, where artisans and regular folks buy and sell beautiful, one-of-a-kind handmade goods; Tiny Prints, for lovely invitations with old-fashioned appeal; and Fruition Designs, which sells charming "mommy calling cards" to pass out to moms you like on the playground. When handled with grace, technology can enhance rather than replace the personal connections you thrive on.
Plugged-in Player — You're definitely in tune with technology and know how to use it to streamline your various mommy duties, keep in touch with family and friends, find shopping deals, and entertain yourself during your all-too-rare downtime.
Even Plugged-in Players don't know about every techy tool floating around out there, though. Since you're already using plenty of gadgets, websites, and other high-tech devices to your advantage, let us suggest a few that may not be on your radar...yet.
If you love blogs and online content, but don't have time to surf around at leisure (what mom does?), try Kirtsy, where women bubble the best of the web to the top for you.
Tired of being left out of your kids' gaming? If they have a Wii, use Nintendo's WiiFit to turn it into your own personal trainer. Or jump into the mix with free online games from PopCap like Zuma and Bejeweled.
As far as gadgets go, you can up your green-tech cred by juicing your cell phone with a solar-powered charger or find out how to turn a cell phone into a baby monitor over at Parent Hacks.
And next time you need information on the go, text 4INFO to get weather reports, sports scores, and even locations of WiFi hotspots, or call 800-GOOG-411 for free directory assistance. See? You knew you loved technology for a reason!
Digital Diva — Wow — we have seen the future, and it is you. You are the ultimate plugged-in mom. The first in the playgroup with all the newest gizmos, other moms come to you for tech support and electronic buying advice. You pride yourself on being an early adopter of all the hot new technologies, and no gadget is too much for you to handle.
But all moms, no matter how tech-savvy, could use more time and help. Try I Want Sandy, a free online personal assistant who will send you e-mail and text message reminders of things like snack day at preschool or your weekly yoga class. Also check out Mint, a free money-management site that will track the balances of all your credit cards and bank accounts and show exactly how and where you're spending your hard-earned cash.
Don't let your immersion in the online world keep you from the personal contact we all need, though. While you can find kinship with other tech-zesty moms on blogs like TechMamas or 5minutesformom, it's a good idea to unplug and go e-free every now and then.
Now you know your tech savviness! So, are you savvier than your neighbor? What's your favorite gadget?