October 06, 2010

Mod phone, old-fashioned chic. (Kids & phone)

Today, advice columnist Ask Amy printed a letter from a middle school secretary complaining that kids don't know how to use land line phones.  I read her column outloud at breakfast and my son's first question was "What's a land line phone?"
The donut phone

Good question, I thought, as no one really uses that term, but everyone talks about cell phones. We have one land line phone that's not wireless. It is popular in our house because it has the best reception.  And kids love it because it's such an unusual and mod shape for a phone.  Even though our house has lots of things in it, they often find it among the first objects they want to inspect.  They ooh and awe over it.  When they need to call their parents, they frequently say, "Hi Mom, I'm calling you from the donut phone!" I can't quite figure out why the kind of phone they're using is so curious to them, but it is.  It's charming, in an old fashioned, mod way.

As Amy and the middle school secretary observe, talking on any phone takes skill and practice.  Maybe some middle schoolers are not as high tech as they think if they are just figuring out how to politely dial and talk on the phone.

October 05, 2010

Back again: Thoughts on email accounts for kids

Well, I decided I must get back to blogging after more than a year of being away.  I have been spending too much webtime over at Ghost of the Talking Cricket.

But onto high tech parent things.  Our household gadgets have changed over the last year to two iTouches which DS and I love.  The iTouch has nearly replaced his Nintendo DS.  Just last month, I finally acquiecsed and signed him up for a regular email account.  Since it's an Apple/me.com account, he can easily send and receive email through his iTouch, which I had not considered.  Suddenly, email is much more fun and convenient for him. 

He has had an email account on zoobuh.com but we were beginning to have technical difficulties with that.  My mom, whose technical expertise is very low, even complained about his account.  She also thought the name was a little immature -- I don't know what she thinks about Yahoo.  Personally, I must admit don't like using Yahoo just because of its  low-rent, silly name.  It also turned out with zoobuh that all the controls were preventing him from getting photos and few other things that made email less fun and almost annoying.  I like that everyone email that he receives on zoobuh also comes to me, but I think I can figure out something along those lines with me.com or I can figure out something.

Do kids need email accounts?  Maybe.  I am not sure how many kids that he knows actually have email accounts, or if they do, if they use them.  More kids seem to have cell phones.  And the cell phone conundrum will probably be the next post.