Women win remote control battle

New research from O2 has revealed the battle between the sexes for the remote control has finally drawn to an end and women have come out on top.

Mums claim to be in charge of using gadgets at home with over half (56%) in control of the TV, two thirds (66%) programming the Sky+ and nearly nine out of ten (84%) controlling access to the family computer so they can keep in touch with friends and family.

Based on this shift in attitude amongst mothers, the O2 Digital Families Report has identified a new type of woman in UK society, the Gadget-Loving Active Mums, or GLAMs, and estimates that there are over five million of them in the UK.

Alongside taking control of the remote control, mums are also embracing social networking like never before. The recent Ofcom report demonstrated that older people are increasingly pushing out the younger generation on Facebook, and the research from O2 concludes that it is mothers who are joining these sites to keep in touch with their friends and family.

Three quarters (76%) of mothers now regularly use Facebook with one in ten (9%) spending more than an hour a day on the site and three fifths (58%) claiming to be regular users of Skype.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, GLAMs are advocating newer services like Twitter with a quarter (23%) now admitting to being regular users to keep up with the latest news, gossip and information.

GLAMs are putting their foot down on their husband’s irresponsible spending on gadgets. Despite the economic conditions, families are still looking to purchase new devices but mums are prioritising the ones which make family life run more smoothly.

Two fifths (39%) of mothers are looking to upgrade their TV, and nearly a third opting for practical gadgets like washing machines (29%) and dishwashers (28%) as their next purchases for the home. However, if dads had their way, the next big purchases would be games consoles (34%) or an upgrade to the full Sky package (33%) instead.

As well as curbing their husband’s tech spending power, GLAMs are taking over their role as the resident geek. Half (50%) of mothers believe they know as much if not more about technology as their partners with two-fifths (39%) in charge of fixing the computer if it breaks down. Despite mum’s ascendance as the home tech expert, it seems that many men are still disbelieving with two-fifths (38%) misjudging their wives tech knowledge.

The report shows that mums are increasingly turning to technology to make managing the family home much easier. Two thirds (66%) of mothers feel that gadgets, like the new O2 Joggler, are invaluable at making it easier for them to manage family life, and nearly half (45%) believe that it makes them more efficient mums as well.

Debbie Daley, mother of world champion diver, Tom Daley, explains: “With three children under 15 and working part time myself, it wouldn’t be easy in normal circumstances to manage family life. But with Tom’s training schedule meaning that he trains for several hours a day, six days a week, I really do need to be organised to make sure that everything at home runs smoothly. I find technology like my O2 Joggler and online calendar invaluable at making sure everyone knows what’s happening every day and no appointments get forgotten about. Without these sorts of technology, I’d definitely find it a lot harder to fit everything in!”

Said Alistair Johnston, O2’s marketing director: “The ability to communicate, organise and marshal their family through technology has become a must have for many mothers. The report reveals that mums are now truly embracing technology and making it work to their advantage. At O2, we believe that technology like the new O2 Joggler can be a huge advantage for mothers, making it easier for them to manage family life, and ultimately help them spend more quality time together as a family.”