11/21/2011 09:34 am ET Updated Jan 21, 2012

iPad: The Technological Solution to Empty Nests

As more and more of my friends graduate from high school and begin their first years in college, naturally, many of their families and homes start to feel more and more "empty." I have noticed that one popular solution for this problem is adopting a pet. Parents feel that getting a pet will make up for their kids' absence and will act as a replacement child.

My own family also falls into this bracket. My brother is a freshman at University of Michigan (go blue!) and I am now a senior in high school, so my parents' nest is quickly emptying. However, while most families get dogs, cats, or even fish, my family is quite different...

Right as my older brother was getting to leave for college this past August, my parents brought in "Tinku." She was just under 10 inches and weighed only 1.33 pounds. She was wearing a light pink cover. I turned Tinku on and the screen glowed in my face, displaying the text "slide to unlock". Tap. Icons flew onto the screen, and I eyed the Safari icon. Tap. I began to load web pages, check my email, and watch videos. Tap, tap, tap. I was just as mesmerized as when I first used an etch-a-sketch as a child.

In case you haven't caught on, Tinku is my family's pet iPad.

You may be a little skeptical of this concept, but Tinku performs many functions that many pets do, if not more. We play games together, we hang out, and we go for checkups at the Genius Bar. She entertains me when I'm bored, and sometimes I take her out with me. I buy cute accessories for her and when we travel together, I carry her in a special travelling case. I take care of her and I feed her every day (by charging her). I cuddle with her and read or watch videos with her at night, and sometimes she falls asleep in my bed. And like any other pet, Tinku has taught me a lot, too.

The best part about Tinku, and perhaps the reason she works so well for my family, is that she's only there when we want her to be. Days go by where none of us even interact with her, and it's completely fine. Plus, she didn't require any training; she always behaves and never acts up.

So, if your parents are considering adopting a pet as you and your siblings are nearing college, I highly recommend dropping by your local Apple store and picking up an iPad instead.