According to several recent studies, women -- and in particular moms -- are online in record numbers. So, this Mother's Day weekend, AOL Adviser Regina Lewis visits The Saturday Early Show to share some thoughts about this trend, as well as some gift ideas for the wired or soon-to-be wired mom in your family.
There are two primary drivers for women -- and mothers in particular -- to be online.
First, communication. Moms tend to be the communicators. She tends to be the person who keeps in touch with family and friends via email and shares digital pictures of the kids.
Second, convenience, the ability to save time and to do things on your own time. Moms are pretty resourceful. They have to be! They're juggling so many things, so moms also tend to gravitate toward doing very practical things online -- paying bills, planning the family vacation and shopping for gifts.
Surveys also indicate the most popular time of day for moms online is 8-10 p.m., often after the kids are asleep. The second-most popular time of day is 9:30-12 noon, after the kids are off to school and mom can carve out some modern day "me time." Another proof point: the more kids women have, the more time they seem to spend online.
Now, not every mom is online yet. What if your mom is still holding out?
- GET MOM ONLINE www.aol.com
Good news. There's never been an easier time to get online. It takes about 10 minutes to get up and running online. If you're going to be with mom -- or Grandma -- on Mother's Day, you can say, "OK! Today's the day!" Sit down together and help her get over the hump. You can use a disk or sign up by phone. Every mom can do this. Regina herself says she talks with so many moms and grandmothers, many of whom, at first, are reluctant. They send and receive their first email, and then they say, "It's so much easier than I thought it would be."
You also can purchase an online subscription as a gift for someone else. You can even specify the number of months. So, for instance, you can purchase 3 months of service and say, "Mom, I've got the first 90 days covered. See how you like it." Their own account, your credit card.
- CHANGE MOM'S SCREENSAVER www.netscape.com
Here's a cute little idea. And, it's free, so its especially terrific for young kids. Sneak down to the computer before you go to bed tonight or first thing tomorrow morning and change the screensaver on the computer mom uses. Then, tomorrow, you can say "Hey, mom. Check your email yet today?" and she'll be pleasantly surprised when she does. Netscape has whole channel dedicated to screen savers. Takes a matter of seconds to download them.
- SEND ONLINE GREETING www.americangreetings.com
There are some really fun online greeting card options and sites like AmericanGreetings.com are offering a free one month trial and have several Mother's Day card choices. Then, for about $1 a month, you can send all the greeting cards you want throughout the year. Many are animated with audio and one new feature on select cards is unlimited space for your message. AmericanGreetings.com - Personalize And Send.
- ORDER FLOWERS ONLINE www.1-800-flowers.com
Up until Saturday afternoon, you can order flowers online with guaranteed delivery Sunday in most areas of the U.S.. 1-800-flowers-com is known for same/next day delivery and the neat thing about ordering online is you can see what you're sending.
- ONLINE GIFT CERTIFICATES www.giftcertificates.com
These can be emailed in a matter of minutes and redeemed online or in-store at hundreds of retailers. They even offer something called a SuperCertificate, so mom can pick the gift she wants from the store she wants. So, if you've really waited until the last minute, this is a good clutch move.