Remember those days when you told the kids to “…go outside to play; I can’t think with all this noise?” Did you know then you were teaching them a valuable lesson for today – how to survive in a world without you? It’s true! We did such a great job with one of our boys that he rarely calls – for any reason. Okay…that’s not completely true. When he needs cash, he calls!
But it’s not that he doesn’t want to talk to us, doesn’t think of us, or doesn’t need us – he does. He just doesn’t think about THE PHONE. Why would he since a) he rarely used one growing up – everything was e-mail with him and his friends, and b) calling us usually means getting our voicemail. So from his point of view – what’s the point?! We have been damned by our own technology!
Both of our boys are really “text hounds.” Omar, the older son, never bothers to set up his voicemail on his mobile phone and I have NEVER failed to get a reply to a text within the hours from him. Our younger son, Zach, lives on his cell phone and responses are measured in the minutes with him. In fact, at 3:07 pm, as I was beginning this blog post, I sent a TEXT to Zach and got his reply at 3:27 PM.
Check out this graph from the Nielson Group on texting and age:
I suspect these numbers actually tell us that…
- 13 to 17 year old’s can’t stop communicating
- 18 to 24 year old’s can’t be bothered
- 25 to 34 year old’s are too busy (recently wed!)
- 35 to 44 year old’s are running their kids to and from activities, and
- the rest of us just haven’t caught on.
Since I want regular conversations with my boys, I learned how to text to stay in touch. It was slow at first, and most of my messages are long-hand (or thumbed to be accurate). I’m slowly learning the text lingo…you know…the LOL’s, OMG’s, IMHO’s, and IDK’s.
However, something about this new paradigm rings familiar. Who reading this DID NOT introduce their parents to e-mail when it became more the norm? My wife and I certainly did with our parents – mainly because our jobs involved being on the phone all day, and by night we’d had all we could take of Bell’s greatest invention.
So I guess I’m suggesting that change is necessary to stay in touch with our kids today. If you’d like some guidance, here are some links to some great resources to get your started:
Remember, the only true constant in life is change. Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on.