I was chillin' at my parents pad tonight (does that make it sound cool when I say it like that? I thought so.) My sister is working on a book, and so her kids were at my parents, and they are high-strung. There's a lot of screaming and refusals to share, so I went over there to distract them long enough for my parents to get the ringing in their ears to stop.
After Picnic Pedicures for my nieces ("You girls have to stay on this blanket or the pedicure will be ruined. Don't move. Also, screaming makes the nail polish peel off, so keep it down, wouldja?") and spending some time bribing my 6 month-old nephew to crawl to sparkly beads, we were out of ideas to keep the peace. My mom suggested starting a Facebook account for my one niece, Annabelle. Um...she's 6. It's a good idea in theory, we decided. It gives her a social outlet. And she really likes looking at pictures of herself. But, you know, it's Facebook, and she's 6. Instead, my mom came up with a brillz idea. We started an email account for Annabelle and her 3 year-old sister Eve.
They. Were. Ecstatic. I uploaded an adorable picture of them, taught them their password (Annabelle can speak Spanish, and now knows l33t speak too!), and pulled up their very first Compose Email. I said "Let's send an email to your mom!"
Here's why kids don't email. One: They can't type yet. Everything they wanted to write had to be recited to me, and then I'd spell it out - letter by letter - so they could do the physical typing. Forty-five minutes later, the first sentence was done. "Hi Mommy, we got a new email account!" Reason Two: They have terrible email etiquette. There's no sign off, no engaging conversation. They're all short sentences and terrible transitions. At one point, they went from "What restaurant are you at?" (ugh...don't end a sentence in a preposition, kid) to "I learned a new song at school" without even offering "I hope you are having fun. By the way, I also had fun today because I learned a new song at school."
Approximately 800 hours later, we were just about to finish their second email, when an email response from their mom came in. I said "Oooh! You already have an email back!" They didn't even want to finish their second email. They were all "CHECK IT NOW, PHARON." Rude, dudes. Kids have no attention span. I had to explain that, when writing an email, there is usually a beginning, a middle, and an end. They were seriously struggling with the whole "end" part.
But the excitement they got when I read their mom's email back to them was priceless. Granted, most of the email was directed back at me specifically, but still. They were enthralled with the fact that a picture of their mom popped up, and even though she was only 5 minutes away, the idea that she had written them a letter was positively exhilarating for them. They are already obsessed with checking their email in the morning.
Note to self: Send those adorable children an email a.s.a.p. explaining the dangers of opening spam. And also maybe put a picture of Dora or Hello Kitty in there.
So I've started a 6 year-old and a 3 year-old on the road to complete electronic communication dependency. I figure they've been in the technological dark for too long. I'm just psyched for them to be able to read so we can start tweeting.