I’m obsessed with text messaging. Or rather I should say that I’m obsessed with what kids are doing with text messaging. From tween to teen in my clinic I routinely assess text messaging habits. And it’s amazing really. I’m fascinated with their connection obsession.
A patient recently disclosed that she exchanges 10,000 text messages a month. During meals, in class and the dead of night her phone remains dutifully by her side in the event that a friend has a comment or concern. I figure this represents a text every three minutes or so during waking hours.
Is there a problem here? Actually sounds like a lot of my crackberry friends. Text messaging to gen-y (or gen-z) is like email to gen-x. And the obsession with connection and email in adults is well established. In children I’ll admit that the issues of classroom and nocturnal texting are problematic. Disturbance-free time is critical for creative thinking in adults and children alike.
There are those around me who think that the rise of text messaging among our youth indicates impending Armageddon. I think it’s nothing more than a new, double-edged technology in the hands of a new generation. The onus is on us as parents to know what our kids our doing and, of course, to set an example of the priority technology should have in our lives.