Quick Tips: Caught in the Act

Filed Under: Text Etiquette

  • T here's a plague of reckless texting behavior sweeping our nation. Sexting, text-gossiping, texting while driving, texting from the family dinner table.

  • These are just some of the activities that are not only distracting and taking away from meaningful person-to-person interactions, but are also resulting in motor vehicle accidents, embarrassing moments, and other serious complications.

    And guess what? I’m not talking about teens and adolescents here. I’m talking about parents!

    According to a recent LG survey1, 28% of parents have engaged in some form of sexting2; 51% have texted others while having a conversation with someone; 42% have sent a text while at the dinner table; and 38% have texted in the middle of the night.

    As parents, it is incumbent upon us to model positive mobile phone behavior and reinforce these behaviors with our children. We must be accountable for how we text.

    LG research shows that kids are emulating what they see their parents doing in regard to mobile phone usage. And what exactly do these negative behaviors entail? Let's take a look:

  • Texting while driving - This is perhaps the most serious offense. If we text while driving, it sends a clear message to our teens that it's okay to do so. This is a matter of life and death; there’s no gray area. We simply need to stop.

  • Texting/talking during dinner or family time - We want our children to be focused and spend quality time with the family. But if we're texting instead of engaging our partners and kids, how can we expect a child to do anything else?

  • Text rage - If we're engaged in a heated text conversation with our teen, our significant other, or anyone else, we need to calm down and diffuse the situation. Text conversations aren’t face-to-face, so it's easy to misinterpret a message. When in doubt about a message, talk to the other person.

  • Sexting - Sexting poses hazards for everyone - including parents. Images thought to be personal can be shared without your knowledge or consent via text message or email and even posted on the Internet. Also, if your child uses your phone and sees a private photo or text message, it could certainly make it more difficult to reinforce the dangers and curtail their behavior towards sexting.

  • Bullying - Believe it or not, some adults do engage in this cruel behavior. Bullying someone via mobile phone, simply opens the door for our children to hurt one of their peers in the same way, even though sometimes they think they are doing it for the right reasons.

  • As parents, we are role models for our children, and they indeed will mimic much everything we do (not so much listen to everything we say). So, let's give our mobile phone usage a little more thought. You don't want your child's mobile phone behavior to get out of control and then hear the dreaded, "I learned it by watching you!" Instead, let's step up and set good examples from the beginning.

    1LG Text Ed Survey, 2010; conducted by TRU Research, a TNS company.

    2Defined as sending, receiving or forwarding a message that is sexual in nature; sending, receiving or forwarding a message with naked/sexual photos and/or videos of someone else; or sending, receiving, or forwarding naked/sexual photos and/or videos of themselves

Filed Under: Text Etiquette

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