Besides the vibrations of phones and the tapping of fingers on small lighted keyboards, the car was dead silent on the way home from a party. My friends and I were packed into my father’s car and we were all communicating about the night’s biggest scandal via text. It was no secret to my dad that what we were texting about was for our eyes only. The next morning, I got a fat lecture on how texting made me center in on myself and friends instead of family.
It seems in the present day, the act of texting is inevitable when a cell phone is in the hands of a teen. It also seems that the number of aggravated parents is increasing as well. I constantly hear parents tell their teens that texting is an unnecessary and brain dead activity that they do just for the hell of it. The reaction that parents normally receive from their young texter is “You just don’t get it!” In most cases, this is the truth. The generation gap plays an important role in all of this misunderstanding between parents and their children.
Most teenagers have parents who grew up during the 70s. It was the era of free loving hippies, big hair, bell bottoms, and movies like Grease. I sure don’t remember seeing Danny or Sandy owning cell phones and texting each other about going to a drive-in movie. Back in the day, our parents didn’t own cell phones. Their way of communicating was by passing notes in class and calling each other on their home phones. As a result of the lack of technology during their childhood, our parents never had the issue of communicating too much with their friends. In fact, it was the opposite, talking to their friends outside of school was a privilege.
Now, we the children of the 90′s are growing up. Not only are we maturing and getting better and better everyday (yes, we can toot our own horns a bit), so is technology. It feels like every time I buy a new phone, a newer and more advanced version comes right out to tempt me. I remember my very first phone was a flip phone. (It really was something to brag about back in the fifth grade!) Then it was a camera phone, a bright pink Motorola Razr, a Dwayne Wade Sidekick, an LX Sidekick, and now a PalmCentro. With the evolution from a regular old flip phone to a kickass phone with a full keyboard and unlimited texting, I can hardly be blamed for taking full advantage of it.
So with all of these sophisticated phones in our hands, what do we do? Text of course! The simplest way to explain why teenagers nowadays text instead of talk on the phone is because it’s quick and multiple conversations can be held. To us, the generation of texting connoisseurs, texting is a major part of life. It is the way we keep in touch with our friends, find out the latest gossip, and even get help with our homework. I had a teacher who let us text him for help since it was such an efficient and easy way to communicate! In fact, it’s a great way to communicate in every sense. If you need to talk to one of your parents and they’re in a meeting, what can you do? Text. If you need an address and forget to write it down, how are you going to have it? By receiving it through a text. If you have a sore throat and you want to yell down for a bowl of soup, for goodness sake, text! The list of pros is like the unlimited texting deal, it just never stops.
Of course, there are also the nay sayers, our parents, who get flustered every time our cell phones vibrate or beep. To them, a conversation should have a purpose and when the question is answered, hang up. The way to explain it to them is that we don’t text to ignore our family, but that we’re building up relationships with people. It is a way to network and to keep people in our lives. Believe it or not, our parents from the 70s do understand networking with people. So to unite the 70s childhood and the 21st century childhood, just explain why it is that texting is a key player in communications. My parents understand the efficiency of texting and now we even text each other! Of course, our parents’ generation of texters can’t completely adapt. Let’s be honest, they’re not going to understand “LMFAO” and they overuse “LOL”, but as long as they text and recognize where we’re coming from, it’s a start.