By Steven Steinberg
From the Mac to iPods, iPhones, and now iPads, many people love their Apples. Last month alone, prior to the much anticipated release of the iPad, many wondered, “Who will buy just a big iPhone? What is the use of the iPad?”
After 1 million iPads were purchased in just 30 days and five to nine million more expected to be sold this year, the new question people are asking is “What can’t the iPad do?”
For many, the deeper question is “Will your Apple love you back?”
Technology can be a great boost to learning, entertainment, and productivity. It can also be a place to disappear from real-life, human interactions in favor of the seduction of the virtual world that emerges from limitless possibilities offered through thousands of apps and other downloads.
Many parents fear a generational divide separating them from their children, as young people’s social lives are increasing linked to treasured digital devices with which they communicate and connect with friends through text, chat, social networking, pictures, video and more.
Yet many older adults are quickly discovering the ease of use built into the Apple platform that encourages new levels of exploration, learning and connection even for the most novice of users.
With our world slowly migrating to small computer screens, parents and grandparents alike can keep up with these technological innovations not only to stay abreast of opportunities for learning, discovery and entertainment, but also to interact with children and grandchildren in a context that is becoming increasingly central to their lives.
Apple’s popular worldwide slogan, “There’s an app for that,” takes users beyond entertainment, news, and productivity, to also include health, exercise, and, most recently, relationship building – offering options for less stressful, more organized, happy lives and healthy, strong families.
Your Apple can love you back.
In an instant, your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad can go from being a toy chest for children, virtual babysitter, or connection to other loved ones through social networking, picture and video sharing. Through controls on iTunes, parents have ultimate decision-making over what is downloaded onto the Apple device, offering opportunities for interaction with youngsters about apps that are most likely to contribute to their lives. Unlike past generations of youngsters, many of whom grew up in front of television with nonstop cartoons, the iPad offers age-appropriate, digital, interactive entertainment and educational programs that bring fun to learning and discovery from the earliest age.
One recent example is PAIRS DTR (Daily Temperature Reading), a five-step relationship building exercise developed by PAIRS Foundation, a leader in family, fatherhood, and marriage education. Built for the Apple platform, PAIRS DTR guides users through sharing appreciations, keeping loved ones up-to-date, checking out assumptions, confiding concerns, and nurturing wishes, hopes and dreams. Once users tap out text in each of these five areas vital to staying connected, they can watch their relationship temperature rise as they share information via cell phones, e-mail, or posts to Facebook. The app teaches youngsters and parents alike to regularly express appreciations and develop positive habits of communication that strengthen marriages, families and other vital relationships.
PAIRS DTR is just one of many examples of iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad’s powerful contributions to learning, discovery, entertainment and, more specifically, how Apple can love you back.
Steven Steinberg covers technology for the Fatherhood Channel.