Class rings, a grand American tradition, let teens memorialize their long hours of studying and years of social angst with a fancy ring. A typical high school class ring has room for two custom bits of flair, one on on each side, meant to mark accomplishments like football prowess or playing French horn in orchestra. And now, texting.
Yes, kids these days can now tout their thumb-powered gymnastics as a design on their high school class rings. They can also choose from a couple different "gamer" designs. These options have been available for a few years, but they're getting wide attention since a picture of the "texting" choice popped up on Twitter.
Since I don't have a high school ring of my own, I went to the Jostens jewelry site, chose my alma mater (go Tigers!) and built a custom ring online. I went with silver and a ruby gemstone. I chose texting for one side. The symbol shows a pair of hands holding a phone, thumbs in the midst of some texting action. For the other side, I went with the gamer design showing a set of headphones with a mic attached and a boxy-looking controller. The final ring looks pretty slick. I would totally wear it.
A closer inspection of the texting illustration, however, shows that it's already getting a bit out of date. It appears to depict a BlackBerry-like phone with a built-in mini-keyboard just below the screen.
It would be easy to just shake my head and think about how absurd it is that teenagers might want to remember texting prowess above other typical high school experiences like Spanish club or student government. But texting is a huge part of life for many young students. Instead of fussing about it, perhaps we should embrace it. Maybe there should be even more options that relate to modern life. My proposals:
- Selfies: A selfie stick at an angle with a smartphone on one end and a hand holding the grip on the other.
- Phone-blocking your parents: An anonymous face with a smartphone held up in front of it, blocking out the world.
- Facebook: A depiction of the famous thumbs-up "like" symbol.
- Viral-video viewer: Grumpy cat's face. Or Psy doing his "Gangnam Style" horse dance.
- Emoji master: This would open up a whole world of emoji options for rings, with teens being able to choose anything from a poop emoji to a set of clapping hands.
Class rings are all about capturing a moment in time. If your moments are filled with thumb-typing on a smartphone, you might as well just go for it. It will be something special to look back on 20 years from now when we're all texting with the power of our minds.