August is a fifteen year old girl who has lived in Maryland most of her life. She loves writing and music, her favorite subject is Science, and she’s a vegetarian. She wants to become and journalist and is working as hard as she can towards this goal.
Anywhere you go these days you are almost guaranteed to find someone tapping away at a cell phone. Texting is a form of communication that has swept parents and teens alike into its expanding culture. Why do so many people use texting as their main form of communication? Because it’s easy. It’s so simple to punch out a quick message on a device you keep in your pocket and it’s even better that most of the time you get an instant reply. If you’re on the fence on whether to let your teen text, pick up texting yourself, of if you’re simply looking for a guide to some things to avoid while texting you’ve come to the right place.
Top 5 Best Things About Texting
1) Faster Information
One great thing about texting is getting the information you need or want nearly instantly. This is especially true with texting services such as Cha-Cha and KGB where you text in a question and get an answer from a person on the other end. You can also get quick answer from a friend about class without seeming rude and while being able to stay on task.
2) Great Way to Keep in Contact
Let’s say your best friend moved three hours away or you want to strike up a conversation with that cousin in the U.K. and see what they’ve been up to, but long distance calls are expensive or you don’t have the time to sit down and chat over the phone. This is where texting becomes a valuable asset. With texting you can keep up with friends and family who are far away at any time of day without having to worry about minutes and long distance charges.
3) On the Go Conversation
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t have a lot of extra time in our schedules with school, sports, clubs, homework, and whatever else we have to do. With all that, there’s not a lot of time for people. With texting you can text while running errands or in between practices. This one of the great things about texting because it does have to be the only thing you’re doing or even be something that is going to take up most of your focus like talking on the phone might, you can concentrate on a task and text. Just remember not to get too absorbed in your conversation.
4) Know What You’re Going to Say
When you get into a face to face conversation there isn’t a lot of time to think about what you want to say to the other person or to process what it is they’ve just said. Texting isn’t like this at all. When you text someone it’s not uncommon to stop and think for a minute about what the other person may have meant. This is also great because it can keep a normal conversation from turning into a full blown argument with a few carefully thought out messages. When you text you have the time to think instead of just reacting.
5) Great for Groups
If you’re planning a party or maybe you just want to meet up with a group of friends be sure you have their numbers in your phone. With texting you can send a quick message to multiple people at one time. Need to let twenty people know where the meeting is going to be held? Add them all to one recipients list and send them all the same text in less than two minutes. Plus you can get a near immediate RSVP as they respond to the message.
Sure there are plenty of great thing about texting, but as they say every rose has its thorn.
Top 5 Worst Things About Texting
This is a big one. There are so many ways to misinterpret a text message what with all the texting abbreviations. It’s also important to remember that texting is not the same as a face to face conversation. There are some elements of speech that simply will not get through in a message, such as sarcasm. Making a joke is also something to be careful with in a text as being jokingly rude may just be seen as rude by the other party. Just be sure to read carefully over any messages you send and receive. If you think something you wrote may be misinterpreted, reword it and it you aren’t sure what someone meant in their message, ask.
2) Rude in Certain Situations
We’ve all been there, on one side or the other, you’re out with your friend at the mall or the movies and either you or your friend is texting. This is considered rude and it makes it very awkward for the other people you are with. There are just certain times when it is just not appropriate to text. I’m not saying you shouldn’t text in public, I’m just saying if you set a certain date, time, and place to meet someone, try and refrain from texting for a few hours while they’re around. There are also certain house rules that some parents may establish such as no texting at the dinner table or no texting during a conversation. Parents, just be sure that your teens know your rules and that you yourself follow them as well.
3) Used to Avoid Talking to People
One of the worst things about texting is that it allows you to say something over text message that you wouldn’t say in person. You’re not having that personal connection with someone so certain things are easier to say. It’s because of this people abuse it and use texting to harass people or break some big news over text. Please never break up with someone, propose, or give any other sort of big, personal news over text message. It’s not cool and will only make the other person think less of you.
4) Can’t Be Sure Who You’re Talking To
This would be another not so great thing about texting; you don’t always know who is on the other end. All that you can really be sure of is that the messages are coming from the same number as someone you know. Try not to spill details meant to stay between you and your friend over text, you never know who may be reading.
5) Easily Ignored
One of the sadder things about texting is that a text message can be easily ignored. Most message tones are short and only go off once and if you’re in a loud place you may not hear it at all. Or if you’re busy and you get a text message you’re likely to blow it off and forget about it for hours. The point is, a text message is easy to ignore, so if there is something that needs to be known by someone right away, call or go and find them.
Texting can be a very valuable way of communication, though like with any other form of communication it does have its flaws. If you have teens that text, sit down and discuss with them some guidelines you would like them to follow and be sure they know the possible outcomes of what they say in a message.
Did you like this post? Check out our new book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded? This is the groundbreaking new parenting book written by Vanessa and her teens! Get a secret view into the world of adolescents and prescriptive advice on everything from lying, to texting to procrastination.