Thursday, September 20, 2012

Smoke Signals:  My Tween Better Master the Art of Reading Them

According to my "well-informed" tween, "everyone" in 6th grade has a phone. 

(Note to "reader":  This "well written" monologue will be heavily "punctuated" with words in "quotes." I do this so you can better "appreciate" the way my "delightful" tween "communicates."  She is a big fan of using "quotes" when she talks in an effort to "prove" her "sophistication.")

Perhaps it's because my daughter is dogged in her advocacy for a phone or perhaps it's because my husband knows I've already started Christmas shopping (started about 9 months ago, but my husband only became aware of it last week). Whatever the reason, my husband has sent me two articles in the last two days about the absolute horrors of cell phones.

I believe he is worried I will lapse into a manic shopping frenzy and accidentally purchase a cell phone for my daughter. I assure you this won't happen unless I find a really good deal at Walmart.

The point is, my hubby and I are totally freaked out about sexting.
I think we both know what horrible decisions my hubby would have made had he had a phone as a tween. Me, on the other hand, I was totally "angelic."

My hubby e-mailed me (Yes, emailed.  We have been married for 16 "glorious" years and we are great "communicators.") the results of a study showing that over 20% of high school students have "sexted" and over 31% had been asked to "sext."  That's an enormous amount of peer sexting pressure!

That e-mail tidbit was followed by one with a link to this article in Scientific American. If I understand it correctly (and I'm not sure I do because I was reading it from my phone), we are happier when we are not near a phone.

This is ironic because my phone is in another room right now and that makes me feel anxious.
Am I missing your call at this very moment?
Or did you just text me something with a "mega funny" autocorrect error?
Now I'm itching. I gotta go get my phone.  Hold on...........................
Ok.  I'm back. Miss me?

The point is, our relationship with our tween is already precarious unpredictable at times complicated developmentally appropriate. Why would we want to do anything to make it worse?

However, a phone doesn't just mean my tween will be able to text until her fingers bleed while sending naked pictures off herself into the stratosphere.  A phone would also give us, her neurotic parents, some amount of peace of mind. If she needs us, she could call.  If we need to talk with her, we could text her.  There are benefits. I get that.  I just remain concerned the benefits don't yet outweigh the risks.

For this reason, she needs to learn the ancient art of reading smoke signals.
That would solve everything!

Lol. Ttyl!

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