Parenting in the 411 Age

One of my favorite topics/conundrums: Is it possible that in the age of information we know too much? Cue Carrie Bradshaw a la I can't help but wonder....

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Is Google your parenting co-pilot? How has the Internet helped and/or hindered you? Do you think it's possible to know too much? Or has knowing "everything" empowered you as a modern parent and/or person? 

And in other news, I'm closing shop/unplugging for the next week, busy with family and fireplaces and sale racks to DIE. Can we please talk about how CHEAP EVERYTHING IS RIGHT NOW? 

Talk about donning gay apparel, I mean... 

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Enjoy your families, my fabulous friends. 



Anonymous | 1:51 PM

first! i love you.

Barry and Amy | 1:55 PM

I think it is possible to worry yourself to death via Dr. Google. BUT it is also helpful at times, as long as you keep in mind that you or your child will not have everything you see on WebMD. You have to have a Dr. you can trust and use their advice first and foremost and then, occasionally, diagnose your rash on WebMD, since you feel silly calling the doc about that.

I do think, too, that the internet has made us more paranoid than our mothers and grandmothers. But is the safety and knowledge worth the paranoia? I guess only time will tell.

toyfoto | 2:06 PM

I've often felt that while we have access to scads of information, we don't always understand it. So in some ways we think we know what it is we're seeing but we really haven't a clue.

Which, I guess, is worse. We have no idea what we don't know until it bites us in the ass.

Anonymous | 3:06 PM

okay, now you are just doing fabulous makeup to make us all jealous :)

my 14 yr. old daughter doesn't have a myspace (that i know of- ha!) or a cell phone because i think that everyone is less inhibited when not face to face and there will be none of that (again, that i know of)

i do not go to google for parenting questions because it's more fun to eff the kids up on my own. i don't need advice for that. and i have gone to the sex offender site and have seen the people on there in real life!! scary. but my thing is, what about the people that haven't been caught? we should be careful no matter what, not just because there is a sex offender on our block. while i'm looking at him the lady next door could be doing who knows what and just hasn't been arrested yet.

i do, however, rely on the 'net for dog advice!!! my boxer puppy is a little crazy but i see that's just a boxer thang (you wouldn't understand.) actually, you would but it's a funny line.

and i remember the whole is he or isn't he about archer being autistic. seems like a lifetime ago.

Heather @CritterChronicles | 3:30 PM

When my DD was little and I was brand-spanking-new to the whole parenting thing, I spent a lot of time on the Babycenter message boards, getting what I felt to be more relevant and up-to-date advice regarding guiding her through the first few years of life. My mom and MIL are still around, but "things" are different now and I parent differently from them, so I went elsewhere for help.

I haven't been on there at all in the past year. Not that I'm a parenting expert, but I feel like I'm not flying by the seat of my pants so much right now.

I'm not a worrier by nature, and my kids hardly ever get sick, so I don't often visit WebMD or other medical sites. The biggest hurdle that's come up against me and DH regarding the internet was the fact that when DS was born, I'd researched and was against circ'ing him, and DH was all for it. That was a direct result of maybe 'knowing too much'. If I hadn't learned what I did, I'd never have questioned the procedure, and... well, that's a slippery "what-if" slope.

Otherwise, I feel that having the knowledge allows me to make better decisions. It doesn't hinder my ability to figure out who I am as a parent.

Anonymous | 4:28 PM

oh and duh....when i had my first two kids i didn't have the internet so i guess by the time number 3 came i didn't have so many questions. i wonder if it would be different if i had the internet back then....

April | 4:51 PM

i dig.

merry hannukwansmas.

bahahaha my word verification is "noggiest" :-D

Dena | 5:46 PM

New reader, just wanted to say hi.

Also with all the sales I still managed to buy a full price skirt at anthropologie today. oops.

Anonymous | 7:41 PM


Steph | 8:46 PM

Holy crap things are cheap right now! We have visited Old Navy an alarming number of times in the past three weeks and I have ordered an extremely embarrassing number of baby legwarmers from Internet sales. We said we were just going to get P ONE really cool toy for Xmas and not go crazy, but so far we have racked up half a children's department worth of clothes, enough legwarmers to make a rope ladder, two plastic dinosaurs, five stuffed animals, and six books - plus the original toy we'd planned to get her in the first place. But it's all on SALE!

Kimberly | 9:33 PM

I don't rely on the internet for information on how I should parent my child. I DO find it helpful though in that it shows me I'm not the only parent who feels clueless sometimes. I find comfort knowing I'm not the only parent who feels like they're winging it sometimes and is just trying to do my best for my child.

Anonymous | 9:51 PM

happy chrannukah to you and yours.

i use the web for good, not evil. i'm not a worrier or hypochondriac by nature, so it doesn't freak me out.

Anonymous | 5:43 AM

Susan Maus touches on this in her book The Masks of Motherhood--How Motherhood Changes Everything and Why We Don't Talk about It...or something to that effect. Anyway, she talks about how women of our generation are the first to have this much access to "expert" parenting information, while at the same time have the least exposure to actual parents and children. I have a friend who, during her pregnancy, read every pregnancy/childbirth/parenting book under the sun, yet when he was born, his was the first diaper she had ever changed in her life. As a firm believer in experiential education and one who takes issue with/can't remember everything I read, I think about this topic a lot myself. Thanks for the post!

Anonymous | 6:05 AM

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and your family! Looking forward to hearing about it in the new year!

Jon | 7:12 AM

Since I started blogging 6 months ago and becoming addicted to the internet, I have been rattled by the question of whether or not I have the internet or if the internet has me. I can't answer honestly. I've been peeling myself away but, for instance, these Momversations? Like crack to me. What's up with that?

There's also the issue of pace. The internet doesn't foster the ability to sit for a long time with a great idea and that worries me for my children.

Wicked Step Mom | 11:42 AM

I have been a computer person for a long time and now am a technician/administrator. For me, I guess it is just part of me so much that I couldn't think about no having the internet as a resource. But I really mean that when I say resource. Not the end all, be all, of everything.

Happy Holidays!

chantalart | 12:04 PM

I think we need to know how to use it responsibly. I think the internet is an incredible resource of ...everything!..good and bad, that we need to know when to turn off. I like that I can choose what I look at, unlike tv, which can just throw garbage out at you. Watching tv is a passive act, while going online is, as they say, proactive. I pay my bills online, I shop online, I communicate with clients online. When I was pregnant I looked up belly button pain online. I read the New York Times online every day and save a tree! I keep up with blogs like GGC. My connectedness makes my life as I know it possible. BUT...I happen to be one of the last holdouts on the matter of Facebook. I won't do it, I can't stand it. It's like a social assault, suddenly being in touch with everyone you ever knew, whether you want it or not! I know, no one understands my position on this, and all my friends keep begging me to join. But I don't want to be found by the kid I went to 4th grade with. I don't want to reconnect with my ex best friend. I don't have the time- I barely have the time to keep up with my close friends, and deal with my work, my daughter and my husband! So I love the connectedness of our digital age- but I set limits. And maybe that's what puts me over that line into an "older" generation, but that's where it gets to be too much info for me.

Rhea | 8:08 PM

Google gets me through so many clueless situations. I love the Internet. More pros than cons in my opinion.

But, as with everything, moderation is KEY.

Anonymous | 11:17 PM

Haha! I have my Ph.D in Google and Wed MD! My Doctor hates me for this al well!

Anonymous | 8:40 AM

Not sure what to call it but the info bar under you during the video in the first 5 secs or so has your website as Missing the S.

Wanted to let you know since I noticed. Happy Holidays to all.

mames | 1:23 PM

funny, i found since having my boys they i have unplugged from the whole informed parenting thing and i rarely seek the advice or sites that give them anymore. the first 8 months was so rough and i looked so hard for answers about how to do things 'right'. then i realized i was not right so i got some treatment and started to hear my own inner voice speaking. i do not think i get it right in any way shape or form, but i am even starting to find great annoyance in blogs that blather about parenting stuff too much (not yours, girl, yours is pure fun reading cause you are so damn cool). i think my medical background helps at times too, as i have seen pretty bad stuff and know what to worry about in that regard (i think). i do think it is a powerful tool to have, all that google at the fingertips, but not really necessary and maybe a bit overkill when it comes down to it.

happy holidays to you and your, i am so glad in 'met' you in 08 and look forward to reading more next year.