Most kids these days are addicted to texting, but if you want them to learn why is so much easier to simply talk to their friends, get them to try some of these ridiculous texting wristbands.
Text Bands from Hallmark are designed as a fun way for younger kids to communicate, but they come with a lot of limitations that seem anything but fun to me. For starters your message can only be 10 characters long, so if filling those 140 characters for a Tweet seems a bit too much like writing War and Peace, this is perfect. Despite it's limited length, writing that message isn't going to be easy using the Text Band's three button interface. You need to scroll through the alphabet to get to each letter you want, and enter them one at a time.
Silliest of all however is the Text Band's limited wireless capabilities. They are wireless, but the range is only about a foot, so you need to high five or fist bump your buddy to transmit the message.
So let me get this straight, you're going to spend two minutes tediously tapping in a hopelessly garbled message like "rugoin2sk8," then fist bump your friend to send the message? Wouldn't it be much easier to simply ask them?
Despite these reservations, I do see some potential uses for this. Most schools have a cellphone ban, but if everyone in your class had Text Bands you could pass the answers to a test around the room. They might also be useful for getting around adolescent shyness, letting you ask someone out on a date surreptitiously by bumping their Text Band as you pass in the hallway.
The good news is that Text Bands are only $15 each. The are available at Hallmark Gold Crown stores starting today.