Teens and Text Messages

Touring Europe Recently, I dug up some of letters I wrote to my parents while I was Eurailing around Europe. I feel bad for my parents, waiting 10 days for a letter to reach them via “air mail, ” assuming I remembered to write, stamp and mail it. I don’t think my kids have ever written me a letter–I just get texts.

I admit that there’s a definite trade-off. My letters were long and newsy. Texts are short. Still, I’m grateful for the immediacy of text messaging, especially with teenage drivers in the household.

For example, my son’s text to me last week informing me of this safe arrival in West Virginia for his week long mission trip.

sending a text

Photo credit: TopNews.In

“We got here.” (Actually, there was no period. I couldn’t bring myself to leave it off. )

When I inquired, per text, “What is it like there?”, I received one extra word: “Nice.” That was it for four days—four words. My friends point out that any expectation of more was just ridiculous.

Maybe “nice” leaves a lot to my imagination, but I knew he was safe.

Caveat: Immediacy of communication doesn’t mean you’re getting the truth.

On the last day of his trip, I texted my son: “Did you have fun white-water rafting today?”

He answered: “It was OK.”

It turns out “It was OK” is code for “we flipped over right before a two section five rapids and I really thought I was going to die and was shaken up, but I didn’t die, so it’s ok. I’ll just never go white water rafting again.”

Whatever the medium, kids are only going to tell us what they thing we’re capable of hearing without freaking out.

I’ll take what I can get.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s