The ease and speed with which young kids grasp the incredibly complicated functions of smartphones and tablets is astounding, and it only makes sense that their tech fantasies — for years drawn by cars, spaceships, and the military-industrial complex — are now directed toward the gadgets their parents own. I loved trucks and planes. London loves MacBooks and iPads.
But before you lament the passing of The Cooler Times, or whatever, imagine what a smartphone look like to a child, and what the possibility, or inevitability, of one day having your own must mean. Getting a smartphone might feel an awful lot like joining the world, even more so than getting behind the wheel of a car. It’s a uniquely potent sign of personhood.