When I was younger, I had a dream of writing greeting cards for a living. Although that dream has since faded, it doesn’t make having a greeting card I wrote actually published any less awesome. That’s right. I wrote a greeting card and it’s getting published!
A year ago my friend and work partner, Alan, and I entered a contest on Threadless, a crowd-sourced t-shirt design website, to make a greeting card. Our birthday card design was selected to be part of their collection and will be exclusively sold at Target starting June 16th. Yes, that Target.
This is what it looks like:
Some of you might cry, “Heretic! Haley doesn’t drink! Why is this card about drinking?” And that is true, I do not partake in the drinking of alcoholic beverages and am a complete teetotaler. I wrote this card on a whim and never thought it would actually make its way into the aisles of a store – or the hands of a person. That being said, I’m not against alcohol. I just don’t support drinking in excess. Alcoholism runs in my family and after 3 years of being an RA I know far too well the negative side of drinking. That being said, moderation people. Moderation.
So if you’re too lazy to make your own card and wanna get your bud one that is clever and quick to the point, hop over to Target and buy one of mine. Or buy fifty. Because I get to split 20% of the profits with Alan and we wanna roll around in wads of greeting card cash.
But tomorrow I probably won’t.
That’s pretty typical for me. Sometimes I feel like I’ve finally reached adult status. I’m meeting deadlines and finishing work projects and paying bills and I just did my own laundry dang it! But next thing I know, I’m curled up on my couch watching Disney movies on Netflix and eating pudding and sprinkles with a princess spoon.
It’s not that I’m unhappy about that. I just expected being an adult would feel differently. I always thought that adulthood would initiate one day, like flipping a light switch or turning on my laptop. But there’s not some proverbial threshold that adolescents cross that suddenly makes them adults. There’s no magic button to press or Stargate to go through or certificate that says you’re official. It doesn’t just happen; it’s always happening.
When I was a kid, I thought adults had things all figured out. I thought they’d reached the end of childhood, like it was the first level of Life’s video game. But I realized that adults are just big kids playing dress-up in business suits and heels. They are still trying to figure stuff out. Instead of a flipping a light switch or leveling up, adulthood is more like getting halfway through a huge puzzle. The picture gets a little clearer, but you’re still just trying to figure out where all the other pieces go.
I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like an adult, or like I’ve left my childish ways behind, and I’m okay with that. It’s not that I think that adults aren’t allowed to be kids. I just refuse to believe it has to be this big transformation. I don’t believe there’s such thing as a grown up – we’re merely all growing up.
Words can hurt. Especially when they are broadcast across the interwebs. Recently, cyberbullying has a become a very real and serious threat in our society, leading to many lawsuits and, unfortunately, suicides. Many people have tried to curb this trend through legislation (and attempted censorship). While I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the politics of the issue, I definitely think that part of the solution lies with training at home.
Everyone is pretty familiar with the autocorrect feature on mobile phones. It’s ability to come up with the least likely words you’d ever want to use is uncanny and has led to the “autocorrect fail” phenomenon. Aside from its inherent flaws, the feature could be used to promote good – and curb cyber-bullying.
Enter my invention, “Autocompliment”. Autocompliment will recognize any negative word you type and automatically change it into a positive one.
Without Autocompliment: “You are such a slut.”
With Autocompliment: “You are such a good person.”
The app could be downloaded to your or your child’s smart phone and connect with your phone’s keyboard similar to how the (irritatingly) popular emoji apps do it. And, just like autocorrect, you can choose whether to accept or reject the change. However, the key to Autocompliment, is that you receive points for choosing positive words over negative ones. Users can redeem those points for swag like iTunes downloads or movie tickets.
The app could either be used as a preventative measure to merely increase awareness of the amount of negativity users emote or as an instructive tool for those guilty of cyberbullying.
It’s small and it’s simple. But I think it could do a lot of good. Or at least help spread the word about online bullying.