Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is Your Teen's Texting Driving You Nuts?

Teenage Texting Addiction

Alexandra and her mother were having a conversation.

"So, Alexandra, then I told your aunt that maybe we would be able to come and visit some time in July and she …"

"Dada dada. Dada dada," came the first eight notes of Alexandra’s ring tone.

Alexandra immediately picked up her phone and read the message that had just been texted by her friend Danielle. Alexandra then texted a response to Danielle.

"Alexandra, I was talking to you," her mother said.


"I was talking to you."

"Dada dada. Dada dada," went Alexandra’s phone again as Danielle texted her reply to Alexandra. Alexandra read it and texted a return message to her friend.

"ALEXANDRA! I was talking to you. That is so impolite."

If anything, it has become more so. As teens have increasingly shifted to texting rather than phone conversations– which they still do as well– the sheer quantity of incoming and outgoing messages can seem staggering. A few hundred a day is not unusual. According to a U.S. study by The Nielsen Company released last year, the average American teen sends nearly 80 texts a day.

Say we were to propose to Alexandra, "What if you muted the phone and didn’t read Danielle’s text or respond to it until after your conversation with your mother?"

Her probable response: "Why would I want to do that?"

I have watched teenagers conversing with one another and they think nothing of interrupting the conversation to respond to a phone call or a text. But so too, the other teen– the one who did not get the call– seems to think nothing of it, and will either wait or perhaps send a text of their own.

Teen conversations frequently include teens talking with each other in person, while simultaneously communicating with friends over their cellphones– multi-person conversations with some friends present in person, some by phone.

Perhaps they don’t think of it as rude when they talk among themselves, but don’t they understand how rude it is when they do it with adults?

"No, my parents are just being bossy. They think you have to pay total attention to them when they are talking to you. What’s the big deal? They are so controlling. Everything has to be the way they want it, even if it doesn’t make any sense."

It may be that the future will be different. It may be that when they get to be the adults who run the world, the rules about what is polite and what is not will have changed. They just won’t see it the way we did. But what about now?

A mistake– because it accomplishes nothing other than creating bad feeling between you and your teen– is to try too hard to get them to understand, to persuade them that what they are doing is inconsiderate and wrong. They simply don’t see it that way.

"When a person is talking to you it is rude, it is disrespectful to interrupt the conversation and start communicating with someone else on a phone."

"I don’t mind it. Why should you?"

The point is not whether they get to see that it is rude. The point is that you find it unpleasant. The point is that out of courtesy to you, they should not take phone calls in the middle of conversations with you. It’s the same reason you take off your shoes when you go into someone else’s house.

It is one of the basic rules of harmonious human interaction. It’s not a question of right or wrong, but how the other person feels. If what is being asked of you is not a great inconvenience or a source of real suffering, then there is no reason to act in a way that brings discomfort to another.

(Of course, she may see it differently. "It is a source of suffering. I’ll have to wait to find out what Danielle wants. That’s suffering for me.")

Rather than condemn their behaviour, tell them that – out of courtesy to you, out of respect for your feelings– you don’t want them to interrupt their conversations with you so they can answer a text.

"Alexandra, I understand that you may not see it as rude. But when I am talking to you I would greatly appreciate it if you would hold off on responding to calls until after we’re done talking."

"But I don’t see the point."

"The point is that it is unpleasant for me. It is not something that I am going to get used to. When you are with me I want it to be one of the rules. I am asking that you not take calls when we are talking because it is unpleasant for me."

And with most teens– so long as you stay out of a right-or-wrong argument – just saying the above will change their cellphone behaviour with you. Not completely – you don’t get completely with teens– but you will see a change for the better (for you).

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Study: Teens Texting More, Hanging Out Less

Teen Texting Addiction

For those of you with teens of your own, this may not seem like news: According to a new Pew Internet & American Life Project report, teenagers are texting more than ever before at the expense of most other forms of communication.

The average teen in the study sent 60 texts a day, up about 20% from three years ago. Teens aged 14 to 17 sent an average of 100 texts a day, up about 67%. A full 75% of teens actively text, and 77% have smartphones.

Predictably, if teens are texting more, the study shows that they're calling less. Only 39% of teenagers said they make mobile calls daily and 14% talk daily on landlines, as compared to 63% who text daily.

Teenagers in the United States are texting more than ever before and they're more likely as well to have a Smart Phone in their hands, according to a survey released Monday.

On average, youngsters aged 12 to 17 sent 60 text messages on a typical day in 2011, 10 more than they did two years earlier, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found.

Older girls were the most enthusiastic texters, sending 100 texts a day, Pew said.

Boys sent exactly half that number, or 50 text a day, but even that was higher than the average of 30 texts they sent per day in 2009.

"When asked generally about how they communicate with people in their lives- not just about their friends, but about all kinds of people- teens point to text messaging as the dominant daily mode of communication," it said.

Pew also said 23 percent of the 799 youngsters who took part in its telephone survey in the continental United States in April through July last year had a Smart Phone, such as an iPhone or a BlackBerry.

Seventy-seven percent had a cellphone of one kind or another and little changed from 2011 but far above the 44 percent who owned cellphones in 2004.

Suburban white teenagers with parents who had at least a high school education, living in homes with a total income of more than $75,000, were more likely than others to have a cellphone, the Pew researchers found.

CLICK HERE For More Information On How To Help Your Teen Text Addict.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

14,000 Text Messages A Month

Teen Texting Addiction

When Pennsylvanian 13-year-old Morgan Pozgar won the title of fastest mobile phone text messager in America, she claimed she owed it all to sending 8000 sms messages a month.

Parents shuddered.

But their worst imaginings probably couldn’t prepare them for how 13-year-old Reina Hardesty’s father Greg felt when he opened his daughter’s 400-page mobile phone bill and discovered she had sent 14,528 text messages in just 30 days.

Texting Teenagers

Mr Hardesty worked it out to about one message for every two minutes the New York teen was awake.

His daughter said she messaged a core group of “four obsessive texters” of girls aged 12 and 13 years old which kept her thumbs busy during her conscious hours.

Reina and her friends said they took full advantage of the unlimited text bonus included in their $30 phone plans – even sending messages to each other while they were sitting next to each other.

Woombye teenager Charlie De Deyne and her friend, Chloe Cottee, both 16, admit to being serial texters.

But even they find Reina’s accomplishment hard to take.

“That is ridiculous,” Chloe said.

“How is that even possible?’’

The St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School students said they each send on average 50 text messages a day because they found it a more casual form of communication.

“But it depends on the day and it is included in my pre-paid plan. It is just easier,” Charlie said.

And although Charlie sheepishly admitted to sending a text message to someone in the same classroom as her, much to Chloe’s amusement, she said she still preferred speaking to her friends directly.

The average 13 to 17-year-old will send about 58 messages a day.14,000 texts a month

CLICK HERE For More Information On How To Help Your Teen Text Addict.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some Teens Sending and Receiving Over 60 Texts a Day

Teen Texting Addiction

Teens are texting more than ever — and their thumb-crunching habits are showing no signs of slowing, according to a new study.

A new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project revealed that the amount of texts sent and receive each day among teenagers has jumped in the past few years, especially among boys, older teens and African-Americans.

The study looked at the behavior of nearly 800 teens ages 12 to 17 during a three-part survey between April and July 2011 and a series of focus groups involving 57 people ages 12 to 19.

Teens on average are sending and receiving 60 texts each day, up from 50 in 2009. The increase is being led by older teens ages 14-17, who went from a median of 60 texts a day to a whopping 100 two years later.

Girls are still the most active texters, sending and receiving a median of 100 texts a day compared to boys sending 50. However, boys are texting more than they were just two years ago — in 2009, they sent about 30 each day. African-American teens are also texting more, up to 80 each day from 60 in 2009.

Of the entire group, 75% of teens said they actively text, and one in four say they own a smartphone. Not surprisingly, voice calls are down.

Texting is by far the most popular way for teens to communicate. While 63% of teens say they text every day, only 39% said they make calls on their phones on a daily basis or send messages through social networking sites (29%). In addition, 35% said they socialize face to face outside of school. The big loser in teen communication is email, with only 6% of teens using it as a means to communicate with friends.

However, the study found that those who text more frequently are more likely to talk on the phone with their friends.