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10 Technologies Kids Already Don’t Know How to Use


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Flip-phone Texting
If you’ve never texted with a flip phone, you’ve really missed out … on a lot of frustration. It’s OK to envy the kids who never tried to message people this way. © alimusicva/iStockphoto
If you’ve never texted with a flip phone, you’ve really missed out … on a lot of frustration. It’s OK to envy the kids who never tried to message people this way. © alimusicva/iStockphoto

Texting has been a common form of communication for years, beginning in earnest after cellular providers started allowing text messaging across competing networks around 2001. Smartphones with fully alphanumeric virtual keyboards have become all the rage, especially since the iPhone came out in 2007. But in the earlier texting days, people were doing a lot of it on flip phones and other similar cell phones, most of which had tiny displays and push-button number pads rather than touchscreen alphanumeric keyboards. You would have to use the number keys to type text, with each number or symbol representing multiple letters or other characters. You'd have to hit a number multiple times until your letter came up, and spaces and other special characters could usually be typed using the star or pound keys. This may be second nature to those of us who were around for the cell phone revolution, but to kids who grew up with virtual keyboards that show all the letters, this seems unintuitive, slow and hard to master.


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