Why Moms Socialize Online


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In August 2009, Mom Central Consulting set out to understand why Moms socialize online. The data reveals Moms across all ages feel lonely and use the internet to form friendships with others based on shared interests, life events and parenting support.

The data also shows some surprising differences in Moms' feelings of loneliness and online behaviors based on the ages of Moms and their children.

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Why Moms Socialize Online

  2. 2. WHO WE ARE GATHER Gather is the leading social network to make new friends and form new social circles. Gather has a vibrant community of moms who have connected around like interests, personal stories and parenting. Gather is a privately held, privately funded company headquar- tered in Boston, Massachusetts. Investors include Allen & Com- pany, The American Public Media Group, Hearst, The McGraw- Hill Companies, and Southern California Public Radio. MOM CENTRAL CONSULTING Mom Central Consulting (MCC) is the leading social media agency focusing on reaching the Mom consumer. MCC helps over 200 National Brands connect with Moms and accelerate word-of-mouth marketing via powerful social media programs. The Boston-based company, founded by “parenting guru” (Wall Street Journal) Stacy DeBroff helps brands and agencies de- velop meaningful conversations, connections, and communities with Moms.
  3. 3. FOR MOMS, IT HAS BECOME ALL ABOUT MAKING NEW FRIENDS ONLINE, NOT JUST ABOUT KEEPING UP WITH OLD ONES In August 2009, Mom Central Consulting (MCC), in partnership with social network Gather, set out to understand Moms’ social habits online. 1,321 gather moms answered an in- depth questionnaire about their online and offline behaviors and attitudes towards networking, community and sense of self. MCC analyzed the data and identified trends in Moms’ on- line connectivity. The data reveals that Moms across all ages feel lonely and use the internet to form friendships with others based on shared interests, life events, and parenting support. The data also shows some surprising differences in Moms’ feelings of loneli- ness and online behaviors based on the age of Moms and their children.
  4. 4. SUMMARY RESULTS Survey Results Reveal That: 58% OF MOMS 61% have made a new friend online in the last year. say they have had feelings of loneliness in the past month and 1 in 3 Moms who’ve made friends online tell report feeling most lonely when their online friends things they don’t their children are under the age share with offline friends. of five and again when parenting teens (14-18yrs). 34% of Moms who’ve made friends online have turned an online friendship into a lasting offline one. 4 out of 5 MOMS feel that they don’t have enough friends in their lives. 50% of Moms feel they do not get enough support from their spouse. 1 in 3 Moms wants to meet more Moms in their community. 70% of Moms talk to other Moms online in forums and communities.
  5. 5. YOUNGER AND OLDER MOMS FEEL LONELY Feelings of Loneliness Differ Based on Age of Moms: In looking at demographics as a spectrum, the loneliness factor impacts younger (20’s) and older Moms (50’s): Younger Moms (20 to 34 years) are more likely to feel isolated and express a desire to expand their community reach, both offline and online. Women in their mid-thirties to late 40’s feel the most comfortable with their current spouse/partner, friendships, family members and extended communities. However, as Moms move into their 50’s, feelings of loneliness rebound. Thus the need to reach out to family and friends online, reconnecting and sharing.
  6. 6. FEELINGS OF LONELINESS ALSO DEPEND ON AGE OF CHILDREN Loneliness Comes in Waves: 60% OF MOMS SURVEYED report feeling most lonely at specific times in their children’s lives. Moms experience the most loneliness with children under age five. They become lonely again as those children reach their teens and begin to lead independent lives. Loneliness then drops off as their children become adults and Moms create new social circles. AGE OF CHILDREN WHEN MOMS FEEL LONELIEST 0-2 yrs 41% 3-5 yrs 26% 6-10 yrs 14% 11-13 yrs 11% 14-18 yrs 17% 19-21 yrs 6% 21+ 8%
  7. 7. MOMS DON’T FEEL SUPPORTED BY THEIR PARTNERS 70% of Moms feel their spouse/ partner makes their lives happier but they still feel unsupported. 55% of Moms feel their spouse/ partner does not talk enough with them. 54% don’t feel that their spouse/ partner shares enough of the parenting responsibility.
  8. 8. OFFLINE SUPPORT HAS DETERIORATED FOR MOMS Only 19% OF MOMS are raising their children in the community in which they were raised. Less than 50% live near family members. Over 80% of Moms don’t feel they get enough support from co-workers. And 40% of Moms dothey feel theyfriend with whom NOT have a can share everything.
  9. 9. MOMS DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FRIENDS 61% OF MOMS want to make new friends. 1 in 3 want to meet other Moms in their communities.
  10. 10. MOMS SEEK NEW FRIENDS ONLINE WITH SHARED INTERESTS over 60% OF MOMS REPORTED making a new friend online in the past year and 34% have turned an online friendship into a lasting offline one. Across all age groups, over- whelmingly Moms make the most personal connections online by searching out others with shared interests and hobbies. HOW MOMS ARE CONNECTING ONLINE SHARED INTERESTS 71% PERSONAL STORIES 42% PARENTING ISSUES 29% HEALTH/MEDICAL 20% WORK/LIFE BALANCE 15% RELATIONSHIP W/ SPOUSE 12%
  11. 11. YOUNG MOMS SOCIALIZE DIFFERENTLY ONLINE While 1 in 3 MOMS tell their online friends things they don’t share with offline friends, younger Moms are twice as likely to share secrets with online friends. Young Moms are far more likely to connect with other Moms around the shared parenting issues and questions they have while raising young children. MAKING NEW FRIENDS ONLINE BASED ON PARENTING QUESTIONS AND ISSUES 20-24 yrs 75% 25-29 yrs 59% 30-34 yrs 43% 35-39 yrs 38% 40-49 yrs 28% 40-49 yrs 11%
  12. 12. SOCIALIZING ONLINE DOES COME WITH RISKS 1 in 5 MOMS has felt bullied online, with younger Moms much more likely to find themselves vic- tims of online harassment. 30% of Moms under the age of 25 feel they have been cyber-bullied.
  13. 13. FOR MORE INFORMATION Mom Central Consulting Tracey Hope-Ross Vice President of Research tracey@momcentral.com Gather Lisa Walker Family Editor lisa@gatherinc.com