The Friday before Christmas, a friend was commenting about how there didn’t seem to be an It toy this season. No Tickle-Me Elmo or whatever.
And then, on Christmas Day, my mom was commenting about how my 7-year-old cousin, who can be a bit of a, let’s say, pistol, was so well-behaved.
Easy: “It’s because she had that new iPod Touch in her hand the whole day.”
Made sense. This year’s toy isn’t a toy. It’s the device. That’s why this graph doesn’t surprise me in the least. In fact, I thought it’d be higher.
What has been astounding to me is the way kids are catching onto tech. I sound like I’m 70 years old, but for real. A toddler with an iPhone is more than just a great party trick. It’s truly fascinating — and exciting — to see what these kids are capable of with so much at their fingertips.
The first thing my cousin said when she showed me her new iPod was “It isn’t a phone, but there’s an app for making calls!”
The she asked if I could put my number in her phone. I didn’t even think she was paying attention, but moments later, she was back in the Utilities box opening the Contacts app, getting all the family member’s numbers. She’s been iMessaging and FaceTiming us since. I sent her a text with emoji’s in it, and she immediately wanted to send funny pictures, too (duh). Her only question was “How do you spell it?” (fair) and then she had the app and was copying-and-pasting, no questions asked.
But I think what really floored me about this all was how she translates traditional letter-writing conventions — the ones she’s probably learning in her second grade classroom — into her messaging habits. She sometimes sends one-liners, but when we haven’t talked for a day or so, she writes a text that simulates a real letter: a proper greeting (“Hi Erin,” or “Dear Erin,”), a short body (I went to the zoo today with a friend. It was fun! I miss you!), and then a center-aligned, two-line sign-off. She takes the time to space her closing like you would with a real letter.
Maybe it’s just me, but I just get such a kick out of that.
It’s going to be interesting to watch with conventions survive the end of penmanship.