Kids and Technology

My wife and I have three kids and like their dad, they enjoy using gadgets.  About two weeks ago we gave Hannah (8), our oldest daughter a semi-retired iPhone 3GS to use essentially as an iPod Touch.  There’s no SIM in it and it’s basically a phone I had previously installed a bunch of kid games on anyway.

Soon after this, I start receiving iMessages from my wife’s phone from Hannah.  We’ve all been playing Temple Run and she’s sharing her score and pretty quickly overtakes my best at the time.

Flash forward to today when I learn about a new music social discovery service called monstro via Scoble.  The gist is that you connect your twitter account and get a suggested stream of tunes based on your collective shares and discussions.  I added a few people to follow based on what I could see they were listening to and then went into my own profile where I saw this:

Imagine my surprise!

These are not guilty pleasure tracks!  I did buy this album for Hannah, but she’s the listener, not me (or my wife).  The crazy thing though is I couldn’t figure out how this was even associated with my account let alone via Twitter.  There’s a good chance Last.FM will pop from a device sync, but I did not overtly connect anything.  After confirming there was nothing in my account settings on monstro, I came back to my profile and noticed the subtle view tweet option which revealed this:

iTunes Ping!  Not something I actively use, though seeing that post I had the instant recall that my twitter account is linked for auto-posting my likes.  Hannah was actively exploring and using the phone (or perhaps my wife’s as the account is shared) and sharing all the things she likes.  She has no idea where this information goes – though I do now and I’m amazed with her self discovery.

When I got home tonight I went to look at the 3GS so I could see about turning Ping off which doesn’t seem too possible, btw.  In the process I noticed a exclamation icon and tapped into messaging where I discovered another pretty cool surprise:

Hannah had tried to send me an MMS!  I think it’s pretty cool that while she doesn’t fully understand the address bar yet, she knew she wanted to add a subject and then a name before sending.  The video is my two year old son, Sam being scared of a spider which is a funny family share captured by Hannah on the phone which is the cherry on top of everything else.



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