One rookie mom’s 7 favorite apps that are not for her children

Thanks to Mandy Chuey for this guest post. Favorite apps of a social media mommy #rookiemoms

I can’t take the credit for being a social media mommy without encouragement from my husband, a tenured Silicon Valley Network Engineer guy. So basically he introduced me to a lot of the sites, apps, programs (whatcha call ‘em)? But now that I have landed in the world of social media thanks to my better tech half, I don’t want to return. It’s not that I had dial up AOL or anything, but I sure didn’t have FourSquare, Instagram or Nextdoor at my fingertips.  We live in a world that is super connected at super speed; you can get ANY and ALL parenting information in seconds from emailing your doctor, WebMD, and  youtube clips on how to wrap a Moby (still didn’t help me).  Also, I’m pretty sure The Bump will be sending me updates on my 18 year old daughter’s development while (fingers crossed) she’s in a dorm away at college.

I will not pretend as if I know the difference between 3G or 4G — and full disclosure: I still ONLY have the iPhone 4S. (Cringe.) After this article is posted my husband will sure to be wearing a disguise next time we go out together. With that said, I’m attempting to share what I know, what I use, AND my parenting experience as a social media-addicted mommy, which to some may not be much compared to moms sporting Google glasses, but I do what I can with a 10mo and 3 yr old, people!

Let me give you a tour of the most vital apps on my phone.

Pretty self explanatory. Mark Zuckerburg didn’t just rein in over a billion in one day for nothing. Pics and updates of friends and family and as some studies have said, updates to make you feel less than and depressed reading other people’s fabulous status updates while you’re home eating Ben and Jerry’s out of the container. My husband calls me a “lurker” because I check out what other peeps are doing but don’t post much myself.

My favorite feature is having a private family wall on a “closed group” where we exchange important personal updates and check-ins in addition to adorable pics of our offspring.

A website to connect with those in your ‘hood.  Group members have to plug in a local address and get approved to join.

I love Nextdoor for Classifieds and immediate safety issues. Think Craigslist for a smaller mile radius. Example: I posted all the extra baby stuff  I needed to shed last week for free. My kiddies’ room was cleared out in 24 hours and I got immediate gratification!

Nextdoor is also useful to post nearby break-ins, school events AND our local Police Sargent and District Representative are members and update us on current events. Never a dull moment in The Town. (That’s Oakland, aka Oaktown for you non-Bay Area readers.)

SeeClickFix encourages all of us to become more active citizens in taking care of and improving our city by reporting non-emergency issues close to home in a fast and easy way. I used the app to report graffiti and illegal dumping. My proud moment was getting a stop sign installed on on a dangerous intersection. I’m no Norma Rae, but it does feel good to improve your neighborhood. After taking a picture and posting a fix, you will get confirmation that the issue is acknowledged. Neighbors can even vote issues to rank importance. Now that’s validation.

More service requests have been reported by citizens on SeeClickFix than on any other mobile platform. Cool.

Another excuse to post adorable pics of my offspring WITH amazing camera features AND photo editing that makes my pics spectacular.  Kinda makes me feel like Ansel Adams.

Besides following some of the funniest comedians of our time, I use Twitter to catch breaking news, parenting articles and MOST importantly 510 Families tweets! (That’s the Bay Area blog run by Heather and Whitney) It’s great to get info on local family events up to the minute! I also tweet at local businesses and restaurants to let them know how much we appreciate them.

My moment of twitter glory was when I scored a calendar from East Bay Parks and Rec (@EBRPD) when I correctly answered a trivia question identifying a beach in Alameda. Hold your applause.

Pure entertainment. Get to see how creative other people can be in a short film clips. I’ve made numerous videos of guess what…my children, of course!

Pinterest has almost everything: kid art activities to high-end home design photos. We recently purchased a new home in Oakland and have used Pinterest to search for drought-tolerant gardening, fence design and paint colors. I also found amazing birthday party ideas from favors to the cake for my daughter’s third birthday Bug Party. The coolest feature of Pinterest is sending ideas and pics to your friends or spouse to review.

Ok, I do not have any pics of children on here, maybe the ONE place I don’t!

So, I’m no Steve ‘Mom’ziac, BUT I am a mom trying to use social media to the fullest to benefit me and my kiddos. Social media-mothering is more than a few excuses to post adorable pics of my offspring. I’m fully aware that by the time I finish writing this another app, program, game or website will be created and I’m perpetually uncool.

*At press time, I finally received my iPhone5s, but now the 6 is being released. Sigh.

Favorite apps of a social media mommy #rookiemoms

What are your favorite parenting apps?

Activity #32: Go to bookstore events

Enjoy bookstore FREE events for babies #rookiemoms

Don’t miss the opportunity to let someone else entertain your baby. Go to a bookstore during story time. Some will even serve you a latte. This is your 32nd rookie moms challenge.

Many of these storytimes happen during the work day but some are on weekends. Use the “search by zip code” feature on the Barnes & Noble website to find when story time happens. Search carefully; there are different events for babies from preschoolers. Or find a local indie bookstore near you.

If you have a photo of you and your little sidekick chilling at the bookstore, post it to our facebook page or share it on instagram with hashtag #rookiemoms so we can give you a high five!

[Photo credit: Olivia Howell, all rights reserved]

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