Parent Open House at our school happened last week and one of the big topics among parents was, “How Many Texts is Too Many Texts?” You’d think we’d all be concerned about how our kids were doing in school and what they’re learning. But when you get a group of parents together, it only takes one to move the conversation in a new direction. Texting just happened to be where the conversation moved to that night.
Most parents agree that their kids spend way too much time on their phones. Top of the list of teenage phone activity is texting, running into the hundreds per day. Admit it, if we had the capability when we were their age we would have done it too. We’re just in denial because we’re a bit envious.
And most of us spend plenty of time doing it too. We just have other “more important” things to do than to text all day and night. As long as you have an unlimited plan and they’re getting homework done, and a few chores, it’s probably not that big of a deal. Okay, some of you aren’t buying that.
Well, today I was reading a comment somebody posted to a technology article that just happened to mention cell phones and it made me laugh. It’s from a dad who got so fed up with his daughter’s abusive texting he put an end to it altogether. It garnered quite a bit of applause from other parents and a few boos from obviously younger readers. I assume he never looked at the breakdown of the bill until just before taking drastic action. Here’s his comment…
I just took my Daughter’s Smart Phone ( I Phone) and smashed it with a Hammer. Tired of 1,000 emails & 2400 Texts every month. Not counting actual phone minutes used. My decision was not based on COST. We (she) are on a unlimited plan with data package. When in the hell could this kid be in school, studying, sleeping or doing normal young girl (kid) stuff. Plus her butt is grounded until I become un mad. I realized I needed to be more of a hard @#$% DAD and not a Nice permissive Dad. Hell, I might even make her mow the grass… Ya, that sounds good, I will make her mow the grass.
Pretty funny. I agree, 80 texts a day sounds like huge time suck when there’s probably other more productive, or fun things a teenager could be doing. But to them, texting is a way of life. You won’t catch me doing it though.
When my oldest daughter first started riding her bike to school, nobody had cell phones. Not even parents. We used Motorola Walkabouts to communicate. (For the younger audience, those are old-fashioned walkie talkies.) She would turn hers on when she was leaving school at the end of the day and call us at home on ours and let us know she was riding home. It worked great and we had some peace of mind. All for free.
Years later, cell phones became practical and we haven’t looked back. There’s no way I’d take away the cell phones from my kids no matter how much they’re texting. I might find ways to get them to cut back but I wouldn’t take them away. We have a “no phone in the car” rule and we “try” to follow it at dinner.
How Many Texts is Too Many Texts? I don’t have the answer to that. But I do know that texting is how kids communicate today. It’s ingrained in their brains.