I bet parents love tablets. Screens are such an amazing distraction. First, there was television and parents could just plop their kids in front of that and throw on a VHS of Aladdin to keep them occupied for 90 minutes. They get tired of watching movies, give them video games. TV is great. The only problem is that TV doesn’t really travel well. Then, the tablet arrives! It plays games, let’s them watch videos, and the screen is supposed to be touched!
Tablets aren’t all that much money and they can be used for real tasks when not being used to keep a kid quiet. (I mean, I rarely use it for work. I have a tablet and 90% of its use is watching videos on YouTube while I make breakfast and playing Fire Emblem Heroes.)
The other day I was on the subway and sitting next to a little kid who was using a tablet for distraction purposes. Her preferred distraction was sending out emails to her dad. It was kind of cute, if not undercut by her dad explaining that the emails wouldn’t really be sent until they had Wi-Fi and that she was sending the emails to his work email address and wouldn’t be able to read them until he was both at work and the tablet had been around Wi-Fi. Quick rant: Hey, dad, we don’t need a pedantic argument about when the email was actually “sent.” I’m sure she hit the “send” button and it got all queued up to send. Also, why did you give her your work email and not your personal email address? Maybe that isn’t weird, I don’t have kids, but it sure seems weird. I don’t give anyone my work email.
I got a quick peak at the last email she sent to her dad before they had to get off the subway. It was a long string of emojis—many of which were faces of tigers—followed by five, non-random words she used the keyboard’s predictive text to type. This is non-random because the keyboard only suggests these based on what the user commonly types or maybe well-known combinations of words. (Typing the word “Super” might make the keyboard think next word could be “Nintendo.” Maybe that’s just on my phone.) Assuming this tablet is actually her dad’s, she was running amok with the predictive text because the message she ultimately wrote just tapping on suggested words was: “I baby puppy love you.” And, send.
Thursday, April 28th, at 8pm I’ll be hosting the April edition of Two Hour Mic Check at Beatnik’s in Worcester. Come down for a free comedy show featuring some of