About three years ago I got email on my phone. It was great. I could now communicate with people via email no matter where I was. Unfortunately, it was at that time when I started getting text messages from more and more people. This really annoyed me since I was paying $40 a month to get email and now people are sending me text messages. I even had some people with email enabled phones sending me text messages to my email enabled phone. Come on! That’s costing me $0.35 a message people!
I finally gave in. I no longer have email on my phone and I too text. It makes sense. If someone has a phone, they more than likely can get a text message. Chances are they don’t have email on that sucker.
Now I’ve come to the realization that teenagers really like to text. That is an understatement. When sending emails to all our volunteers, the 3 or 4 emails that bounce every month are the teenage email addresses. Why? They changed them? Why? They’ve had that email for two months and they’re so sick of being firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, you laugh because you’ve seen this. So what’s the best way to get a hold of a teenager? Text them!
Just last month I had two teenage girls from a previous church visit my family. They come from a big family. Right now there are 6 in the family on cell phones (Mom, Dad and four teenage daughters). Want to guess how many text messages were recorded on their bill (it was unlimited, so they weren’t charged individually)?
No really, guess!
No, I didn’t put the comma in the wrong spot. I wrote it correctly. that is pretty close to 6,000 text messages for each phone. I’m sure the girls are texting more than their parents, so maybe they’re each closer to 7000 each. As unbelievable as this number is, I completely and totally believe it. While sitting in our living room talking one night, I watched their phones light up every minute with new incoming messages. While they were perfectly engaged in our conversation in our living room, they were also actively engaged in at least one other conversation over their phone. They don’t need to look at their phone. While at school, they can reach their hand in their bag and send a text without ever being noticed… they only need to pull the phone out to read incoming messages.
I often hear adults complain about how texting is ruining this generation. None of them know how to type with all their texting short hand. Honestly, didn’t they say similar things about Radio, TV and the internet? Our teenagers aren’t stupid, they can do both. Oh, and they’re more connected and networked than any of us.
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