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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Stacey Ross on The Online Mom

Stacey Ross is an online consultant, social media enthusiast, freelancer and owner of SanDiegoBargainMama.com. A former teacher and middle school counselor, she is now a mom of two who researches and freelances about lifestyle topics involving family and well-being.

Facebook Lowers the Required Age for Public Posts

"Kids will be kids!" is a term often used that reflects adults coping with the reality that minors will find ways to test the boundaries. Well, in some cases, kids end up getting their way, as they have with Facebook lately! Kids ages 13 - 17 will now be part of the "big kids" party – at least when it comes to posting and engaging publicly. [Read More]

Five Ways Tech Can Bring Families Together

Family members around the world are finding ways to keep in touch with each other in real time, and the increasing accessibility of this technology helps strengthen and enhance families in a variety of different ways. [Read More]

Top 5 Social Media Personalities to Avoid

I recently took on the cathartic experience of encapsulating my fellow online enthusiasts’ top pet peeve personalities: those individuals that have a way of throwing a wrench into the digital playground – a wrench that leaves us slapping ourselves as to why we still follow them or reminds us why we continue to be entertained by these cats! The umbrella is large, but the stereotypical personalities under it are even larger: [Read More]

Why Publicly Shaming Our Kids is Not OK

Have you seen a post about the dad who wore Daisy Dukes to teach his daughter a lesson about modesty? Well, after checking out a few links, I gather it was more of a publicity stunt than it was an act of public shaming, as the dad seemingly was not out to humiliate his daughter but rather collaborate with her (reality-show style) to make a point that “modest is the hottest.” [Read More]

How Debunking the Myth of Multitasking Can Save Us Time and Stress

I spent a good amount of years thinking that I could do a lot at once; it was pretty clear to me that I was tops at multitasking, and was even convinced that women were just coded to juggle many things at once, setting us apart from our male counterparts! We could cook, balance our checkbooks, tend to our kids, and watch the news all at once. Oh, yeah, and check our texts and respond to our Facebook posts every five minutes, too. Piece of cake, right? Maybe not. [Read More]

The Top Five Things to Avoid when Texting

Oh, boy, did I stir up the pot when I asked my colleagues to share some of the text messages or emails that they regret having sent. One friend posted that he thinks that it is better to do something and regret it, than to regret not having done anything at all. Sure, that might speak volumes in some scenarios, but for texting enthusiasts who pressed "send" prematurely, well, that sentiment might not sit so well! [Read More]

Five Valuable Lessons I Learned as a Blogger

You can put five bloggers in a room and hear a myriad of reasons as to how and why they began blogging, ranging from wanting to connect more with the outside world, to expanding their brands for business purposes. Regardless, bloggers form a community not quite like any other I have experienced – one that blends deep insight and personal perspective with a genuine desire to connect and grow with similar like-minded colleagues. [Read More]

Five Tips for Debating Online and Coming Out Alive

Do the phrases ‘Zimmerman trial,’ ‘breastfeeding in public,’ or ‘Obamacare’ get your heart skipping a beat just at the sight of the words? Social media platforms, without doubt, house some heated debates about all sorts of topics, from politics to pop culture. There are pros and cons to how these messages are shared, however. The range of communication styles is as diverse as the angles and perspectives – ranging from folks compassionately engaging each other, to downright demolishing one another. [Read More]

Courting Online: Keep it Classy!

My fifth grade girl had enough on her plate this past year than to have to worry her 10 year-old brain about boys asking her to be their girlfriend (at this age?)! This was a multiple-occasion reality for her during her last year of elementary school, however, so we decided to come up with a clever retort, which actually proved pretty effective! [Read More]

Five Easy Tools to Build a More Twitter-Fabulous Following

I have online colleagues who maintain interest by sharing and engaging in topics solely surrounding the areas that their blogs and social media accounts represent, but I believe that I would work myself into a corner if I were to adopt such an approach myself. Enter one of my most beloved online tools: Twitter! [Read More]

Just Say No Mo' to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and Take a Social Media Break

Do you suffer from FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out? A new study from Harris Interactive on behalf of MyLife.com shows that 56 percent of social media users say they suffer from a fear of missing out based on what they see on social networks. Interestingly, the same study says that 52 percent of people say that they have taken or want to take a vacation from social media! [Read More]

Is Our Online Culture Diluting the True Meaning of Friendship?

A few years ago, I supported a colleague by spreading the word about a very special media day for her – one in which she was a big spotlight. With her blessing, I found a place in the mix: schmoozing with the guests as they arrived and taking a multitude of photos – all appreciated, and then some – and at the same time, it was fun for both me and the nice-sized group of fans with whom I went! [Read More]

The Kids Are Alright! Study Shows US Parents are Not Worried About Kids' Digital Media Use

Don't worry, be happy! Despite parental concern regarding the impact that digital-media can have on our children, findings from a recent Northwestern University study of more than 2,300 parents of children up to 8 years-old reveal that parents embrace more than discourage digital media. [Read More]

Five Tips for Not Losing Your Kids (or Yourself) to the Digital World

If you are a parent in the digital age, chances are you have implemented some online safeguards, along with some smart guidelines for your kids to follow. Have you ever worried, though, that you will "lose" your kids if they become too attached in one form or another to their digital worlds? As we all know, the lure of the digital jungle can make hours seem like minutes and can quickly chip away at precious family time! [Read More]

Five Ways for Online Moms to Combat 'Pinterest Pressure'

Anxiety and social media in the same sentence? More than ever, it seems! I have researched enough about social media disorders and “addictions,” Facebook photo envy, and a slew of other conditions and afflictions, that I know how they can create a damper on one's online well-being.  Surely, we can't leave out of the discussion one of the fastest growing social networks, namely, Pinterest! [Read More]

Preventing Bullying: Where Should We Start?

Gone are the days when bullies would only gang up on other kids in the schoolyard. Now, “cyberbullies” are turning to e-mail, chat rooms, Facebook and other social media sites with devastating effect, often causing greater harm than traditional forms of harassment. It seems as if media headlines and stories about cyberbullying are everywhere, with a growing percentage of our youth exposed to online aggression and abuse. [Read More]

Top 10 Etiquette Tips for Smartphone Users

For many smartphone users, their devices have become an extension of their person, keeping them just a finger's reach away and on and off the grid all day, habitually texting, chatting, posting, etc. without a second's thought. Sometimes they appear to be tuned-in experts at multi-tasking, but other times oblivious to others who are annoyed by their lack of courtesy! [Read More]

Where's Your Mama? Top Five Media Habits of Today's Moms

They say when mama's happy, everyone's happy, right? We know that moms are a great driving force in the consumer world, with advertising and marketing platforms reflecting what they want to view, along with where and when. No two ways about it: Moms are connected, mobile, and social! [Read More]

Top Bloggers Share Tips for Avoiding Blogging Burnout

Kurt Cobain once shared, “It's better to burn out than fade away.” Well, all things considered, I propose that avoiding burnout has greater merit. Ask a blogger!Blogging can appear as seamless and effortless as simply posting a few times a week. The reality, however, is that it is a labor of love, an arduous commitment that tends to require a lot more nurturing that meets the eye – in order to remain robust and thrive, that is! [Read More]

Five Ways to Deal with Online Haters

Four years ago I experienced my first "hater." She posed as an interested client, but in reality was calling me to vent. From the grapevine (or maybe just my About page), she was aware that I am a happily married mom of two and had some luck early on in building my blog. [Read More]

Five Lessons I Learned as a Blogger that will Last me a Lifetime

I began blogging four and a-half years ago, because I wanted to stay connected to my community in a way that allowed me to raise a new family as an at-home mom, but also bring in an income on my terms. I knew that there would be trials and tribulations, and indeed there have been, but the journey has been so invaluable to me that I will take the lessons learned to the grave, one day, and remain grateful for them. They, beyond doubt, provide me with wisdom that transcends beyond the cyber world. [Read More]

Is it Time to Take our Kids Out of the Picture?

Many online parents and bloggers take pride in celebrating and exposing a great amount of family information and the intimate perspectives of their lives. Pervasive in social media platforms are photo updates of the family’s “pride and joy,” beginning with mom’s first ultrasound and continuing throughout the kid’s childhood into adult life. [Read More]

What to do when your Facebook-loving Teen Starts Dating

I had not experienced this precise feeling since college. Sitting in a sandwich shop looking at the titles of a half-dozen writing assignments I needed to pump out, I grew more and more afflicted by writer's block. I was at a loss, for some reason, as to how to get started and reminded myself of what one of my metaphysical friends preaches: “Just let the universe guide you!” [Read More]

Help - My Girl's About to Get Her First Smartphone

I was under such duress recently, not being able to locate my girl for an hour during her school carnival. The adrenalin rush that kicked in could have powered the school, I tell ya! Once I saw she was safe and had just become camouflaged by the climbing wall, I decided to exhale and grab myself a couple of tacos. [Read More]

Raising Kids in the Digital Era: Help is Out There

I have spent quite a bit of my adult life working with first-generation children of immigrants and second language learners and have found that they are trail-blazers in their own rite, setting a precedent for generations to come as they learn the ropes and the language of the land and find their place in a new culture. [Read More]

Cellphones in the Classroom: Distraction or Educational Tool for the Future?

When I was a kid, if my classmates or I (shhh!) were caught chewing gum in class we had to scrape desks with putty knives during recess. Some teachers would make the students put the ABC (already-been-chewed) gum on their noses to learn their lesson! [Read More]

Online Relationships: Time for a Reality Check

Do you believe in "love at first click?" I am certain that it happens all the time.OK, I lied. Call me unromantic, but I actually don't think it happens all the time!I believe that, by nature, online relationships (both work and friendship-based), regardless of how seamless and flowing they might feel, inherently come with limitations. [Read More]



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