Text Ed 101

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I don’t think anyone was more surprised than our daughter when we gave her a cell phone. It wasn’t an impulse decision and certainly wasn’t one I thought I would act on so soon. Kids and a cell phone? Why does a kid need a cell phone? And another couple thousand questions went through my mind.

When my stepdaughter first came home with her own LG touch screen phone it created a bit of jealousy and envy with the at the time eleven year old. I held fast to my idea that kids did not need cellphones as the begging escalated. Even when the jealousy turned to tears I could not give in.

It only took one Friday evening PTA school dance and for those 3 very long hours to begin to sway my steadfast position of no cell phones for kids. By the time the next three or four dances had come and gone I had started handing over my phone with explicit instructions for its use.

My husband and I had been using the same phones for about three and a half years when we decided it was time to upgrade and come into the 21st century of cellphone technology. My case was cracked from more than one encounter with the driveway and quite possibly from being sat on at more than one of the aforesaid school dances. I knew then, and I think he knew too, it was for my own peace of mind that she would get a phone that day. With the in-store promotion my husbands purchase of an LG Versa made it possible for our daughter to choose any other LG phone for free. I put her on my account and it didn’t change the billing by more than $10. Let me tell you that $10 has bought a lot of peace of mind. And it has been worth every penny.

By the time we had driven home that little LG enV had 45 friends numbers in it. It also had both of our numbers on speed dial (along with her sister’s, her grandparents and the local sheriffs office. What?!?)

Then it started.

You know what I mean.

The texting.

It never stops. Day and night.

When I asked my stepdaughter “How did you sleep?” one morning I got an answer I did not expect. In our conversation it eventually came out that her now boyfriend was texting in the middle of the night. This led to some very serious ground rules for all the girls phone usage at all times in our house. When I was growing up we had strict rules on telephone usage and cell phones are no different in my own opinion. My sister and I, and our friends, were not allowed to be on the phone after 9pm. Those same ground rules for the phone that I lived with are applied across the board for the cellphones, too. My husband did not have all the same rules I did but we agreed for our girls it was for their own best interest to apply the full gambit I grew up with. I do have one concession I am willing to make and my husband agreed, phoning stops at 9pm but texting stops at 10pm. At that point the phone is turned off and cannot be turned on before the sun comes up. I think we both rest better knowing there isn’t secret things going on while we sleep. We set the ground rules. Everyone is on board. We all are sleeping at night now.

When all three of the girls are together watching TV or in the truck on our way to something somewhere there is ever present that digital ‘ping!’ or ‘bzzzzt!’ or ‘chime!”. The click click of furious fingers on a keyboard followed by the click of a slide or a flip being closed is a common sound. The three of them can be sitting together in the same room, on the same sofa, and instead of speaking they text back and forth. With all of the personal messages flying through the air at lightening speed it had never occurred to me that chat lingo and emoticons had carried over bigger than ever. I know! Color me not-so-bright at that moment. It’s not that I didn’t know it. It was more like I never really thought about it. When we text we use proper English and type it all out nice and neat. The kids don’t.

I<3 you! and cn u hlp me wth my hmwk? plz? 🙂 and whts 4 dnr? This one I have kept on my phone for ages. It makes me laugh every time I read it. nd tp upstrs plz Who needs a stenographer when you have a texting tween and teen?

Sometimes it is not so easy. I was slow on the uptake with more than a few.

kthnxbi = Okay. Thanks. Bye. Seriously? How did I miss this? This is so simple. If I missed something this simple what else might I be missing that is just as simple but not as innocent? This has got me thinking about how much I don’t know.

Do you talk the talk? Can you decode your teens texting lingo? Do you want to be a better “code talker”?

Please tell me I am not the only mom out here who doesn’t know all the codes. LG’s DTEXTR is an awesome tool to help you learn the code. You can also watch Emmy award winning actress, Jane Lynch (best known as Sue Sylvester on Glee!), as she teaches parents how to talk to their teens about managing social networking with mobile technology.

Every comment you leave on any “LG Text Ed – Moms Discuss Teens and Texting” post is a $0.50 donation on behalf of DoSomething.org – empowering kids online to do something awesome offline.

4 Responses to “Text Ed 101”

  • Kelly P says:

    I don’t have kids, but I was given a pager and the ability to write checks on my parents’ bank account as soon as I learned to drive, and the driving age here was 15 at the time. Once cell phones were more widely available and affordable, a cell phone replaced the pager. Now when I think back on it my parent’s may have been a little nuts, but it’s all about how responsible your children are. I know the cell phone gave my mom peace of mind and the checkbook made me her personal gopher. There weren’t even official ground rules, but I understood that it was a priviledge and didn’t feel the need to abuse it. I’m old so texting wasn’t available for me, but we sure came up with creative ways to send messages using pagers.

    Where there needs to be some serious oversight with the texting craze is for these young people to know when txt talk is appropriate and how to effectively communicate in complete words and sentences. We had a new hire not too long ago that actually sent an email to a client with txt type in it. Totally unacceptable.

  • Ashley says:

    I know what you mean Kelly because I work in an office as about the oldest student hire there at 21 and just being two years older (21) makes a difference I try and set an example for the young pups and then they get us all yelled at for the text talk in emails! I don’t know what half the lingo my friends text me means and sometimes I’m too embarrassed to look it up or ask my younger brother. Thank goodness I don’t have kids yet!

    Angie that TP one is Hilarious! and I have done it before but spelled the whole thing out because half the time my mom doesn’t get my texts till the next day let alone wrapping her Blonde head around TP Lol!

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