Monday, November 23, 2009
One of the main arguments most giddy teenagers use to convince parents to buy them an iPhone or iPod Touch is their actual utility for doing useful stuff (such as accessing Useful Crap (Oh my goodness, what a witty comment!)). Their irksome shrieking voices utter flawlessly planned lines that often breach these confines: "There are apps that'll help me do my homework," and "I can become more organized with calendars and stuff," and "I won't have to be on the computer all day to do stuff," and the always effective "BUT WHY!?!??!?!"
Of course, while it is impossible to combat the latter, you may have some luck using pure logic to clash with the other ones. But let me join their side (because after all, I am somebody who wants $300 crap that I'll probably never really use) for a second. It's true; you'll have to concede that there are apps out there that can help kids do their homework. There are study guides and question-and-answer apps and all the other stuff. There are many calendars and event organizers that can really be of great value. And in fact, it's quite possible that you will be able to re-claim the home computer as yours. This cannot be argued. You can even concede that the iPhone may be one of the most utile machines on the planet. I mean, it's got a phone and a camera and all those apps and a GPS; it's geektastical gold.
But that's not what the real question is. The real question is, how often are your kids actually going to use the goody-two-shoes features? Will they be reading up on the day's economic fluctuations or will they be reading up on the latest developments in the Paris Hilton saga? Will they be communicating ideas with friends about the American Revolutionary War or will they be communicating ideas with friends about the next big party? Will they be busy making an agenda or will they be busy popping touch-screen bubble wrap?
These are all questions that must be considered. Well actually, I'll just tell you the answer and save you the hassle. It's always the second answer. Simple as that. No matter how much they whine, "BUT DADDY!!! I WILLLLL!!!" they won't.
So come the holiday season, don't donate 300 bucks to Steve Jobs' plan to take over the world. You can get a workable MP3 player or even an iPod for $100, $150. Then hey, maybe you'll spend 20 bucks on getting them to remember what those obsolete books were all about.