Are You Worried About Your Teen’s Texting Habits?

Written by on June 12, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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Are You Worried About Your Teen's Texting Habits,text message,the connected generation

Are You Worried About Your Teen's Texting Habits?

If you’re worried about your teen’s texting habits you’re in good company. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center has shown that 75% of teenage girls now use text messaging as their primary form of communication. In fact, the average teen sends 60 texts a day, and when you’re talking about girls specifically the number jumps to 150-200 texts per day.

Today’s teenagers are being referred to as ‘The Connected Generation’ but just how connected can you be if you never speak face to face? Teens send text messages to their parents, in another part of the house, to find out what’s for dinner. They text their friends, sitting on the other side of the classroom, to find out what’s going on after school.

To most adults this seems counterproductive. Wouldn’t it be easier to just get up, walk across the room or down the hall, and address the person face to face? But that’s only because we don’t have the thumb for texting like our kids do.

And most kids will tell you they use texting as a way to save time, to multi-task. Why waste the time on telephone niceties when a quick ‘K’ in the message field lets your mom know you’ll be home in time for supper?

On the downside, the concern is that today’s connected teens won’t learn the subtleties of polite conversation, and you can see this more and more if you spend any time online in chatrooms or forums. Conversational etiquette is out the window, replaced by 3 letter texts – WTF! OMG! and PAW! If your kid is sending upwards of 150 text messages a day, his abbreviated speech patterns and lack of etiquette are likely to spill over into the little real conversation he has.

There’s also the danger of sexting, cyber-bullying and texting while driving, but I could write volumes on each of those topics.

On the positive side, research is indicating that despite these abbreviated non-verbal conversations, today’s teens are closer to their parents than ever before. And it’s mainly due to text messaging. Parents have the ability to stay in touch with their teens no matter where they are and the texts aren’t always of the “Where are you and what are you doing now” nature.

Many parents check in with their teens throughout the day just to see how their day’s going. And vice versa. Cell phones and text messaging just make it that much easier to chat – even with your kids.

If you’re worried about your teen’s texting habits, why not consider joining in the game, instead of stewing on the sidelines? Send your teen a text and wish him luck on the test today or tell her that you love the skirt she was wearing when she left for school this morning.  We’re all born with opposable thumbs. Who knows? Maybe this text messaging thing isn’t as hard as it looks.

This is a guest post. Donna Anderson is a freelance writer who enjoys small-town living in rural Kentucky. She’s an active member of several online communities and enjoys taking part in discussions that focus on how real people can live real lives in this fast-paced world we all live in.

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