To celebrate Women's Month this March, Google Philippines and Cosmo.ph gathered a group of strong, empowered women on International Women's Day, March 8. The topic: their relationship with technology and how they integrate it into their daily life. SmartParenting.com.ph had the opportunity to listen to these women game changers, most of whom happen to be moms, and pick up some key pointers on how to live a meaningful life using technology as an advantage.
1. Use it for inspiration and not a distraction. The matriarch of Team Kramer, Chesca Kramer, and blogger-writer Rica-Peralejo Bonifacio use the Internet to look for inspiration and to research on their current projects. But they caution against over information. It's all about filtering what you need and learning when to stop. "If we keep on scrolling and looking at other peoples' lives, it hinders us from being the person that we feel like we are called to be," Rica says.
2. Be careful what you put out there. It has been mentioned time and again that while the technology and the Internet make it easier for one to express oneself, you need boundaries on what you choose to share online. "You have to be yourself, and you have to use it to express yourself, but you also have to be careful in the information you put out there because that leaves a mark," says Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, president and founder of Team Asia, an award-winning integrated marketing communications firm. It is especially true when you share anything that involves children.
3. Take everything with a grain of salt. That's what digital strategist and owner of Commune Cafe, Ros Juan, said. While the Internet makes gathering information about anything so easy these days, Chesca says we should consider them as just insights. Rica agrees, "It's still up to you at the end of the day. [The Internet] cannot make that choice of decision for you. It's still up to you at the end of the day. The information is there, but it's up to you to digest it, process it, and make your evaluation about it.
4. Adapt to the trends. You cannot ignore technology. You need to learn it, especially if your kids are using it. "Homework is given now through the Internet, so you have to go with the trend and use it wisely," advises Rowie Matti, mom, and CEO of Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, Inc. Knowing how to use technology to your advantage is particularly useful when your kids get into social media. This way, you can personally download apps or visit websites and assess if it's suitable for your child. "Humility is important," says Rowie, "it allows you to continue to learn from everything and everyone you encounter."
5. Balance is crucial. Technology has aided moms who wear many hats to fulfill their many roles more efficiently, but it's still important to regulate use. Unplug and go offline once in a while because the Internet can be overwhelming. Ros adds, "Take some time to be alone. Go and pray or what is it that will recharge you. Don't be afraid of your thoughts. When you stop, that's the only time you get to sort them out."
It’ll also be easier to teach your kids proper tech use. "When my children are calling my attention [about always being on her phone], I put it away. Because later on, it's going to be harder also, when it's them holding their phones," Chesca says. You just have to set boundaries and limits to your tech use and always complement with a human experience. "Human beings will give us the warmth, the life that virtual reality couldn't give us," she stresses.
How? All the career women agree that it all boils down to knowing your priorities and self-discipline. "Knowing and admitting as early as now, I can't do everything. What do I prioritize, what can I let go so you can give my best to the ones that need my best," Rica shares. For Ros, it knows that you can say no and when to do so. "Ask for help and delegate," she adds.
Being a woman, or mom for that matter is not to be a hindrance to success. "Know what you want, what would make you happy, go after it, says Monette. And try, because "you'll never know unless you try," Ros added. Nothing is Chesca says, anything is possible so long as you know what direction you're heading to and what your intentions are. Challenges are very much a part of life. Unless you know you're calling, you're not going to hold on to something, and stick with even to the ups and the downs because you're not sure of your calling,” Rica said. Rowie stands by her P.L.A.N. -- that's Plan your life; Live your dream; Achieve your goals, and Never give up.