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Texting and Teens Tags: teenagers and texting teenagers texting

My daughter (10th grade) has been working on essay writing, and I came across a writing prompt I knew she'd have strong feelings about: teens and texting -- how much is too much?†

I sent her the link to this†self-paced lesson,†a slideshow that provides information and statistics on teens and texting, and some short video clips of teens expressing their opinions on the subject. At the end of the slideshow, there are suggested essay topics,†but I suppose you can use the resource for whatever type of project you come up with. (Could make a good speech or debate topic for a homeschool co-op).†

My daughter chose to write a brief essay response, in which she takes a "positive" position to texting. I publish it here with her permission:†

Texting And Teens

† † † Parents always seem to think that texting is a bad thing for teenagers. They have this idea that texting effects teensí ability to talk face-to-face. What they donít realize is that it can actually strengthen friendships and even help teens to talk to more people than they would if they didnít text. Texting doesnít minimize the amount of face-to-face time. It just bridges the gap between the time you part and the time that you see each other again. Although texting is, most of the time, a daily part of a teenís life, it is not an unhealthy obsession that leads to no human contact or socialization.
††††††Texting is a great way to get to know someone who you have just become friends with. Since it is not that difficult to take a cellphone around with you wherever you go throughout the day, you can be in constant communication with someone. That way, day after day, you will have more conversations with someone and consequently know more about this person than you would over the phone, or the limited face-to-face time most teens have with each other. The way that someone texts and even how many or what types of emoticons that person uses can even tell you a little bit about the personality of the person you are texting. As you text someone more and more, you begin to recognize the personís own signature texting style.
††††††Texting is also a great means of communication for people who are more shy or introverted. When someone is texting, they are more likely to say something that they wouldnít say in person. Therefore, they are speaking and getting to know someone a lot more than they would if they didnít text, because someone who is shy does not talk to other people as much in person. It is also not as demanding as face-to-face communication because it gives you time to think about what you want to say, and exactly how you want to say it. This can help you get to know someone and then start talking to that person more face-to-face.
††††††Not only does communicating through texting help you to talk to someone who you see often, you can also end up texting with someone who you wouldnít normally have contact with. This allows you to go beyond your narrow group of friends and to experience a variety of different types of people. Once you are better acquainted with the other people, you can move upward and have phone conversations, get together more often, and make friends with them and their friends. It can actually result in the expansion of your social circle.
††††† Although it can be frustrating to parents that a teen is constantly carrying around their cell phone and texting, they have to consider that they are talking to a real person. It is not diminishing their face-to-face time, and most teens donít prefer it over being face-to-face with their friends anyway. It is just a convenient way to communicate and get to know someone.

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