It was a stormy night in December and I was sitting at the kitchen table with my Dad eating soup. I was anxiously awaiting him to finish so I could play with his first Apple phone, called an iPhone, which had buttons on the screen. As we sat down together, we laboriously pushed the buttons on the screen, wondering if iPhones would stick around.
Only 6 years later, I would receive an iPhone for Christmas, fully aware of the features and functions of what I viewed as a magic tool. 6 years? That is the age of a young child who still needs a babysitter. How is it possible that smartphone technology blew up so rapidly and intensely?
I am shocked by the rapid spread of iPhones and smarter technology in general- almost as shocked as I am by air travel. (How is it possible that we can fly in the clouds and still breathe? It shocks me. But I digress.) My Dad shared that he bought his first computer in law school, and he used a typewriter throughout high school and college. I thought he was joking. He also told the story of calling my grandfather from a payphone in Spain to ask him to overnight some money to him for his study abroad fees. No Wells Fargo app on his smartphone? Once again, shocking. But, his childhood did not include technology, including smartphones, and mine did.
We see that our world has rapidly changed when it comes to technology: but, our children are still growing up as they always have. So, it’s natural to conclude that because the status quo has changed, we must adapt to it. If we do nothing and let smartphones “happen” to us, our children will suffer consequences, from decreased attention and mental health to decreased wellness and motivation. Pinwheel acknowledges that smartphones are dangerous tools and amazing tools. Pinwheel phones enable our kids to manage technology and learn to live in our new tech-savvy world.