Brave New iWorld

My grandchildren have a new electronic toy. My daughter called it her iPhone. It seems in a moment of sheer insanity, she downloaded a free game for the girls, thinking it would keep them quiet in the doctor’s waiting room. Since the kids found out about the toy, mommy never gets to play with it herself.

The rule is that the only games that are allowed to be downloaded are the free ones. The problem is that the free games have bright flashing ads for the improved $3.99 version. The even bigger problem is that neither of the girls are old enough to read. When they see a big flashy button, they think it is part of the game. The rest is history.

Daughter figured it out after she got the $112 credit card bill from Apple iTunes. Now the girls are supervised better when they play with mom’s toy.

It’s strange how kids seem to instinctively be able to play with these sophisticated electronics. The girls also liked my grandson’s iPad. While an adult will spend hours trying to figure out how to use an app, a kid can pick an iPad and have it playing tunes on the Disney site in 20 seconds.

After many years, I’m still trying to learn to use my iPhone. The only good thing to report is that my texting skills are getting better. Now that I have figured out the phone can spell better than I can, it’s become a lot easier. It fixes all my mistakes and just keeps going.

The iPads and iPhones have all sorts of sophisticated iGames on them that are downloaded off iTunes, for example, “Pop the Bubble Wrap.” Now that’s an intellectual game that can hold your attention. And you don’t even have to buy new bubble wrap when all the bubbles are popped.

My daughter was excited when she found out that my Wi-Fi connection downloaded games really fast. She filled up her phone with games figuring she could transfer them to an old iPod when she got home and give it to the girls instead of letting them play with her iPhone. Of course, the iPod idea didn’t work out all that well. Since there are two kids, they now each have a toy and mom still doesn’t have one.

I really don’t understand the attraction of having a telephone that doubles as an electronic toy. I’m sure I must be missing out on something very important by not downloaded music or games. I’m so far behind the times that I don’t even know what that something is. Sometimes I even enter the number instead using my directory or the voice app. I do use the touch pad instead of a rotary dial, so don’t laugh too hard.

I know how to post on Facebook, though, and with my new text messaging skills, I can almost pass for cool. I managed to fool the “Guess Your Age” game on my daughter’s phone into thinking I am forty-six, even though I don’t watch the Simpsons. It was either the fact that I send several text messages a day or that I eat a large number of hamburgers. Who would think that eating hamburgers is a way to stay young?

I must admit that finger painting with an IPad has advantages over letting kids paint with the real stuff. I really don’t understand why you need a computer to pay tic-tac-toe, though. I guess it is like a lot of things, it is done with a computer only because it can be done.

The worse, absolutely worse, game, however, is one of the children’s favorites. The name alone is enough to convince me that I don’t want it on my iPhone. The only skill required is a fast thumb and a strong stomach. It is called “Smash the Ants”.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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