Sunday, September 21, 2008

From BARBIE to Blackberry!

Barbie girlsImage by jikamajoja via FlickrTomorrow is my daughter's 17th birthday. As most parents know, buying "the right" gift for kids - especially teenage girls - is always a challenge. Get the wrong brand of over priced, over designed T-shirt (i.e. anything that's not ED HARDY) and their mood shifts from happy to sad faster than their weekly allowance disappears off their Visabuxx debit card. I can remember the days when the biggest birthday challenge was to toil over which version Barbie Doll was "the one" that would bring eternal smiles to my little girl's face. Those were the days when life was simple, and she refused to wear anything that wouldn't "spin" when she twirled around - yes, dresses only from ages 4 - 9.


In truth, though it has been more costly than even Malibu Barbie with the Beach House and Corvette Convertible, the past four or five years selecting my daughter's birthday gift has been a cinch. Every year for her birthday she wants a new phone. As someone who works in the Mobile industry, I often tout that for teens today the mobile phone is the center of their universe, and having three kids gives me the right to say that with the utmost confidence. So now birthdays are easy (albeit expensive.)

The last two years it was the T-Mobile Sidekick, and then the Sidekick 2 that fit the birthday bill. So, as this annual ritual rolled around I assumed my daughter would be itching to upgrade to yet the latest version of her well worn temple of texting. With that in mind, you can imagine my surprise when she announced that the object of her desire, the dreamy device that kept her awake at night longing for the feel of it's tiny keys sliding beneath her calloused and capable thumbs... was a BLACKBERRY CURVE! That was the phone she wanted. That was the phone she HAD to have (the RED one, of course.)


Franky, I was honestly surprised. My daughter, whose connected life is so dependent on MySpace, Instant Messaging and Texting that she refuses to get a proper email address, now lusted after a phone that built its reputation on being the ultimate email device. She didn't just want it, either - she REALLY wanted it. I know that RIM (Research In Motion, the Canadian juggernaut that created the Blackberry) has been aggressively trying to break out of their mold as an "enterprise only" device and crack the consumer ranks with crackberries like the lithe PEARL and the sultry CURVE. If my daughter is any indication, they have succeeded, big time.

So Blackberry Curve it was. We visited the local T-MO store and made the swap, and my daughter is already completely enamored with her little red Curve-ette.

She doesn't miss her Sidekick and is already texting at speeds that would make Mavis Beacon the typing tutor proud. Below is a sample of her mad thumb typing skills on our way to buy the Blackberry. The geek in me is so proud! ;-)

Mad Thumbtyping Skillz of a 17 yo Girl on

How about you? Are mobile phones on your gift lists? How often do you get your kids a new phone, and at what ages? Let me know in the comments, and if you enjoy reading this, please subscribe to this blog by email or RSS.

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