If you are a mom and you have a smartphone, chances are you may be spending way more time on it than you realize.
According to a new study by the Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG), moms who were asked how many hours they use their smart phones to email, text, visit social networks, surf -- and communicate the old fashioned way (by phone), said that on average they are using their phones 3.9 hours a day.
And that's because the technology is making moms' lives better.
"Mom says smart phones make her feel more organized and connected, empowered and efficient," said said Kristi Manclow, the director of research for Disney Interactive Media Group. And moms are using technology to help shoulder the burden of all aspects of
Disney is the parent company of ABC News.
The study is the second installment of the "M.O.M. – Mom on a Mission" research study, designed to learn more about today's mom, her roles, and how technology and the internet affect her life.
Moms Adopt More Mobile Technology
Use of mobile technology by moms has increased substantially in the past year in all categories of use.
More than 90 percent of moms surveyed use a mobile device, up 10 percent from 2010. And 44 percent of moms surveyed are using smart phones.
Moms are using their mobile devices increasingly as a means of communication with family members.
Moms are texting with their spouses 17 percent more than they were a year earlier.
"Mom has really adopted texting,'' said Dickman. In addition to using texting to communicate with loved ones, she is "texting to plan birthday parties, playdates, following up with families on activities... texting is a very very powerful tool for her."
Moms are talking with children by mobile phone 53 percent more than they did a year earlier.
Moms are also increasingly using mobile devices to access their social networks (32 percent more than the previous year), to take pictures of their children (a 13 percent increase) and to manage their calendars (an 18 percent increase).
"Today's moms are adopting emerging technologies at an impressive rate to help manage their families' busy lives,'' said David Dickman, SVP of digital media sales for DIMG.
Reflecting both the evolution of technology and the current economic climate, the largest year-over-year change is in couponing. Moms are looking for discounts and coupons on their mobile phones 213 percent more than they did last year.
Tablets Make for Snuggling
Moms with tablets are using their devices for an even broader range of tasks, including banking and meal planning, the study found.
And while moms with smart phones play games on their phones with their children in large numbers, the nature of the small devices require that they be passed back and forth between mom and child; tablet adopters reported that they play games and consume entertainment with their children side by side, an experience that the tablet's larger screen makes possible.
In the past year, the study found, ownership of tablet devices went up 133%, and now 7 percent of moms report owning the devices.
Overall, homes and families have more personal technology -- more computers, tables, smart phones and gaming devices, so mom no longer has to pull rank to get screentime.
The M.O.M. on a Mission study was conducted in June in two phases. The first included eight moms interacting in an online, secure blog for a week; uploading images, video and text. The second phase featured an online study of a sample group of 3,300 women, ages 21-54, who were either pregnant or had one child under age 14.
While the study was conducted online, the sample is relective of the number of Americans overall who own computers and other mobile devices, according to DIMG. Of the participants, 59 percent identified themselves as employed full time. Thirty percent identified themselves a full-time homemakers.