Living in this audacious, adventurous 21st century with all its technological advances has its advantages. You can keep the lines of communication open or stay in constant contact with anyone at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. You can call, talk, track or text message when you have the right, GPS system, computer, cell phone, I pod, tv, blue tooth ear piece, Nintendo DSI, mobile devices or some other...
How often do you get a text?
On the other hand it is hard for some to just “be” in the moment, because they are always texting and calling someone else while in your presence. Their attention is divided between you and somewhere or some else? The quality of time spent is usually minimized. They have a hard time just being in the moment or giving their undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”. Having the capability to be accessible is great. But I believe it is really getting out of hand. Perhaps there should be some “rules of etiquette ” honored and accountability exercised when alone or while in public or in the presence of others? And what about the teens?
Reina Hardesty is a 13 year old teen, from Southern California, who is an amazing, creative, prolific texter. How she ever managed to get anything else done? She actually sent approximately 500 texts daily that totaled 14,528 text in one month. It is a good thing that her father had unlimited texting. Otherwise, at 20 cents per text his bill would have been somewhere around a whopping $2,900 !!!
I wonder what this does as far as their overall health is concerned? How much time for homework or anything else for that matter? Is texting addicting? At what point is it considered so...
Wait there's more! Emilee Cox, another witty, vivacious, energetic, teen texter of 14 years, has smashed Reina's record. At 74 text per each hour she was awake, she texted over 35,000 text in one month according to Mirror.co News.
Miley Cyrus favorite hobby is going shopping. She also really likes Chinese Food and watching "High School Musical with her sisters. But apparently the famous teen idol enjoys texting as well! Miley Cyrus and her older boyfriend Justin were caught texting during Church service. They thought they were being discreet "They were not only busted but..." They both were scolded by her family's pastor
Hope Witsell, A young Florida middle schooler at the young age of thirteen hung herself after sending nude photos through sexting! It is alleged she sent the photo in hope to impress a boy. The photo was intercepted by a classmate who shared it with many of her school mates as well as neighboring schools. Hope was surrounded in the hallway and underwent gawking from students at school.
Hope's mother said that she had talked to Hope about proper internet conduct. She set rules and boundaries and restricted her, talked with her and continued to love her! However the peer pressure to be accepted was greater. Hope was dismissed as a school advisor and suspended as well. Hope hung herself in her bedroom. This is one on many unfortunate results due to sexting!
It is important that we keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers. Peer pressure is real. It is becoming increasingly difficult to adhere to a chaste lifestyle or platonic relationship. Abstinence is a safe, dwindling alternative. It is becoming somewhat fashionable to just give in to their sexual urges. Many teens experience acute adolescent anxiety, localized alopecia, acne, anorexia, drug addiction,alcohol, low self esteem, veneral diseases, abuse and panic attacks are on the rise. Therefore Teens are under enormous peer pressure to engage in permarital sexual relationships as well. Resulting in much stress as well as the possible prospect of becoming teenage parents. There is always something lurking to pull them off track. Having a cell phone for emergencies is fantastic! We need to keep the lines of communication open! Yes, we should be concerned! They need guidance. The ability to stay in contact is a plus. But here too we also need some “rules of etiquette. ” These 21st century teens have taken texting to a whole new level.
Here are a few more stats,
*Texting of this nature is nothing new. According to a 2008 Nielsen study, teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 “text more than any other demographic group” clocking up an average of 1,742 texts a month.
Sextexting is also becoming a growing trend among teens. Sextexting is when revealing photos or messages are sent across a cell phone. It is actuallly flirting with danger. You do not always know how large or who your audience really is. Teens that are caught could possibly be prosecuted as sex offenders. Unknowingly they send pictures or messages with improper content that once they have been published they cannot be retrieved. it is just not a good idea to get so personal anyway. On many occasions they have sent messages to a friend, who sent it to a friend and that friend sent it to … Right now this is even being pursued by some prosecutors to possibly be considered as “child pornography”. So it is important to have a serious chat with them about being careful in this area. Nothing more than "G" rated texting allowed!
Oprah Winfrey recently dedicated a whole television show to the perils of America’s newest “OBSESSION” = texting while driving! Did you know that when you text or use a cell phone while driving you significantly increase the chances of having an accident? It is the equivalent of having 4 drinks while driving! You are driving with a decreased attention span. It is called “Distracted Driving! “ You are not only putting your life in jeopardy but the lives of many others as well! The show is inclusive of many who have experienced the consequences of someone using a cell phone while driving. The statistics of the many casualties are mesmerizing and alarming!
Ms Winfrey asks that everyone designate their car as a ‘”NO PHONE ZONE!” She goes so far to have a campaign asking you to sign a contract agreeing to do so. The contract is available on her website! During the show one mother is interviewed. Her story; As she approaches her home after a Dr.’s appointment she sees a little girl lying in the streets surrounded by a crowd! She sees a mangled bike… Much to her dismay the distraught mother realizes it is her little girl and the emergency crew are attempting to pull her clothes off ……. The little girl was “15 PEDALS “ FROM HER FRONT DOOR! The driver was on her cell phone! After intensive care in the hospital two days later her beautiful little girl dies… This is one of many.
Texting while driving is also hazardous. No sneaking a text in because no one's watching. Watch the road! Another big, No! No! We need to be in contact but we also need to give them guidelines. I think that a simple contract might possibly be a viable solution. If they are old enough to have a cell phone they should be responsible enough to make a contract that is reviewed often and renegotiated when or if necessary. Limiting their calling by giving them a restricted calling plan? Knowing that you are going to randomly review their messages, Hmmm...This really is to let them know that you care enough to take the time to show that you are concerned and they matter. Of course they won't see it this way...
In this high tech society it may be hard. But, keeping the lines of communication open is important! It is crucial and beneficial to make sure that you take the time to spend quality time with them without a television, computer, cell phone, I pod, CD player, blue tooth ear piece or some other distraction… Just maybe they won’t feel the need to take up sextexting?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, life coach and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide "How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do," and just released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married". DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches "Beyond The Walls". There are times when we all need some encouragement in our walk with the Lord. The Counseling Ministry was designed to encourage, motivate and uplift you in your journey. The Music Ministry produces and records music for every musical taste: Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Praise & Worship, Instrumental Gospel Jazz and Easy Listening.