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Anne Morrow Lindbergh Texts

February 22, 2009

Good communication is stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Does good communication include texting? Because if it does, my soon-to-be teenage daughter will win the communicator-of-the-year award.

Last month’s total? Eighteen hundred. It’s true. You read that right. Eighteen hundred texts…in one month. No more allowance for her. She’ll be shoveling the drive for a long time to come.

To her credit, it was her first month of texting, and she had no idea the phone company charged for both in-coming and out-going texts. Neither did her parents. Feel free to slap us around, but we knew nothing about texting and naively assumed neither did she. We gave her a phone strictly to be used for communication with her parents. Right. Slap me again.

So what does a pre-teen text 1800 times? I checked.

“hi”

“hi”

“what’s up”

“nothing”

“how RU”

“good. U?”

“good”

“what chairlift RU on”

“merc”

“number?”

“57”

“where’s Pete”

“who cares”

“M likes him”

“omg”

“g2g”

This stimulating conversation racked up 16 texts, not one for free.

Why not just call and talk? “Because then people hear you,” she answers.

In the world of cyber space, we’ve become a growing society of no talk. We can email. We can facebook. We can text. We can blog. We can do everything but talk. It’s easier, says the cyber generation.

A friend of mine told me her high schooler texts so he doesn’t have to have a conversation with a girl. Makes sense. Who wants to be told, OMG to his face?

While texting may eliminate a stutter and sweaty palms, where will it lead us? Will we live in voiceless relationships? While it might be nice not to hear my husband ask me where the car keys are, do I really want a relationship of silence? Well okay, maybe some days.

Not only is the texting price tag absurd, but 1800 texts a month takes time. It eliminates the opportunity to talk. It causes carpel tunnel. Texting while driving? Don’t get me started.

A good conversation for me, is indeed, a lot like black coffee. It makes me think. It makes me laugh and sometimes cry. Conversations teach and probe and make us reflect. I realize teenagers are a breed of their own, but I hope texting is a short-lived phase for our kids.

Even if she falls on her face, I hope my daughter can learn to talk to a boy. Or a girl. Or her parents. OMG.

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One comment

  1. Welcome to the teenage years! I’ve (somewhat successfully) raised 3 teens who are currently 18, 20 and 22, and I’ve got to tell you I don’t think texting is a phase for them. I share your concerns about the lack of “true” conversation, but in other ways they are more intimate with each other than our generation because of their voyeuristic online lifestyles. They thinks it’s better, we think it’s tragic, but maybe it’s just different? Only time will tell!



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