Sunday, August 16, 2009

Generation TEXT

I've got the name for the new generation, "Generation TEXT". These kids are out of control - every tween, teen and college kid in the universe has their head down all day long tapping on their little buttons. Go to the mall and take a look for yourself, the kids are walking and texting - my favorite scenario is the parents walking ahead with the pre-teen daughter lagging several paces behind - texting away. This can't be a good thing, these Generation Texters, it just doesn't look right - what will the repercussions be?

I remember when I forgot how to spell - it was the day they invented the "spell checker" on my AOL email account. I literally forgot how to spell - and it gets worse every day. I don't know if this really affects my life in any way, as long as I'm never in a situation where I have to write an actual LETTER to someone on a piece of paper. My experience with the spell checker, and the fact that it has dumbed down my spelling skills, may compare directly to the long term effects that texting will have on these kids.

Starting with the obvious, these kids have zero face to face communication skills. When is the last time you got a firm handshake with full eye contact from one of these Generation Texters? Another thing I have noticed is that the generation texters have very little sense of humor. They don't speak or write creatively, they are extremely bland and quite boring, honestly. Talking with their head down, answering your questions in the shortest and softest responses possible. They're vanilla children, that's what they are.

Again, I don't know if this will affect their chances of getting good jobs etc. because in another 10 years, the world will be run by Generation Texters, so the supervisors will have poor communication skills and no sense of humor as well. So it might all work out just like the fact that I don't see myself having to hand write a letter on a piece of paper in the near future.

Here are a few facts on the Generation Texters:

Generation Texters send an average of 440 texts per week. This amounts to about 4 texts per hour that they are AWAKE.

Generation Texters have overwhelmed the school systems. Schools have just given up on trying to stop the texting. It simply can't be done. See the recent Kansas City Star article for more info on what the schools have attempted to do to stop the texting. The kids are using texts to cheat on tests.

Generation Texters are at risk for arthritis of the thumb. This condition, known as texting tenosynovitis, is an inflammation of the tendons in the thumb caused by text messaging. There is only two reported case of this, and a school-aged child in Singapore is the first one. As for the second aforementioned New Zealand student, she apparently texts 100 messages per day.

Most of the parents that I have asked say that they tried to wait until their children were at least 16 years old before getting them a cell phone, but the fact was that they became social outcasts without the Holy texting ability. The other kids just stopped talking to them because they were so far out of the loop. Most parents break down and buy their kid a cell phone around age 12.

There is a great book written by Dr. Michael Osit about Generation TEXT - check out the book here:

Generation Text: Raising Well Adjusted Kids In An Age Of Instant Everything

1 comment:

Dr. Michael Osit said...

Great article that states what everybody knows and feels, but seems to accept as "ok." But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at my book, "Generation Text: Raising Well Adjusted Kids In An Age Of Instant Everything" and you can see the even more pervasive impact technology is having on youth's ability to access the world with layers of privacy from their parents.

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