Today more and more teens have cell phones. Teen texting between friends has now overtaken cell phone communications – and every very other common form of interaction. According to a recent study by PEW Research:
- Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts a month. One in three send more than 100 texts a day (or more than 3,000 texts a month.)
- 15% of teen texters send more than 200 texts a day, or more than 6,000 texts a month.
- Boys send and receive 30 texts a day; girls typically send and receive 80 messages per day.
- Teen texters ages 12-13 typically send and receive 20 texts a day.
- 14-17 year-old texters typically send and receive 60 text messages a day.
- Older girls who text are the most active, with 14-17 year-old girls typically sending 100 or more messages a day or more than 3,000 texts a month.
- 22% of teen texters send and receive just one to 10 texts a day, or 30 to 300 texts a month.
Is this a time parents need to pick and choose issues of concern? Yes and no. There are many other more serious issues such as drug abuse or gang relations, however if your teen is obsessed or addicted to texting, it may be time to intervene. Give your teen limits, and be sure there is a time that the phones are simply turned off.
Having consequences in place and following through with them can help convey to your teen that you are serious. Teens need to learn how to “talk” to others outside of texting. Parents should be concerned that all the texting may alter their ability to communicate effectively.
When it is time to apply to colleges or interview for a job, will they have the verbal skills they need? At last glance, you can’t text your way into employment or into a college.
In Florida, there is a bill in legislation that will ban texting and driving. Although many know the dangers of texting and driving, many still do it. Stress to your teens, no text is worth dying over. Encourage your teens to take the pledge and join thousands of others that are putting the cell phone aside as they drive.
Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.