Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Texting and Family Life

By today's standards, our family entered the cell phone era late, too late according to a few of our children. Up until last fall, September to be exact, we saw no need for more than two cell phones in our household. Before then we did what we do with just about everything else in this house - we shared. It's a novel concept that worked well until my three oldest began taking college classes. This development required a few more cell phones to navigate ride schedules.

So we took the plunge and signed up for the Family Plan which, to be the most economical, included unlimited texting. Our previous plan did not allow texting. We promptly set-up some guidelines for the phones and texting use and went on our merry way. Or so we thought.

Excited but cautious about their new phones, our children only gave their number to their 10,000 closest friends on Facebook. And within 24 hours it seemed like the phones were going off constantly as friends began texting them about everything at all hours of the day and night.

The novelty quickly wore off for my daughter and she gave texting a big thumbs down. Not so my very social son. His thumbs were up and moving fast. We were becoming more than a little concerned about how this might affect him and his school work. When I spoke with another parent about our concern, he said his daughter had 13,000 text messages in ONE month! (That's over 400 a day.) We were definitely NOT going to let that happen! We set a few more boundaries and despite some initial resistance our children have complied. Our home is back to managed chaos and their friends are no longer the uninvited text at the dinner table.

But I am wondering if all of this texting is good for young people or for any of us. It's nice to stay connected, but as I've asked my children, do we really need to be BFFL with everyone 24/7?

Subscribe to SpunkyHomeschool by email.

No comments: