Let me set the scene:
Teenage daughter hates her cell phone (yes, she is LUCKY to even have one). Two year contract is up and she'd like more than the "free" upgrade. Recently she has had a B-day and, just like her older brother, would only like a better phone. Her parents have very recently been down this road once before and agree to the request.
Add to this the mother's thought that it would be nice if the texting feature was now unblocked for this child, I'll call her Kid 2. There have been times where leaving Kid 2 a written message, and not a voice mail, would have been handy.
This mother was once, long ago, a teen and she knows her daughter. Also, said mother has been warned by friends... Teenage Girls + Texting = $$$$$, unless you have the unlimited message plan.
Not too long ago a new cell phone arrived at our house. The next day I upgraded our plan to unlimited messaging. At about 2 that afternoon I was getting ready to hit my treadmill. I thought I'd send both my kids a message telling them this feature was now up and available.
Here's what I sent:
Mom to Kid 1 and Kid 2: Txting good 2 go! Mom
Kid 1 replies: Cool, but let's stick to non school hours
Seriously, whose child is this?
Kid 2 replies: thanks mom! :D
Two hours later I noticed that Kid 2's phone kept buzzing and buzzing. At dinner I casually asked how many text messages everyone had sent and received since I sent my message.
Kid 1: One.
Kid 2: 150.
Just for fun, that tallies up to $31.20 on our former pay-as-you-text plan.
It will be interesting to see what our totals are at the end of the first month and over time. A friend warned me that her very shy oldest of three girls had 5,000 text messages in one month. I thought she was exaggerating a tad, but I now can see that as possible.
It is nice to be able to have a phone for each of my kids. It gives me a certain peace of mind. They are both responsible enough to keep their phones on them and to use them to contact me. Our oldest has always been able to text, if needed. We just paid by the text. How uncool to have to call your mom! But, how convenient to be able to text. I respect the coolness factor, but expect the courtesy of contact from my children.
We have set rules which all understand can be bent, but in general,
*No texting at school unless it's at an accepted time phones can be used at school,
*No texting after 10 pm on school nights and 11 on the weekends.
*Obviously, No texting while driving. My funny son pointed out that this was sorta of implied...just like No Killing is implied. Fair point, still I put it out there and then said: * Oh, BTW, No Killing either!
*Make sure people you text have unlimited plans, like you!
*Most importantly, remember that anything you send (text or photo) will live forever on the Internet. Be respectful of others and respect yourself.
I am trying to learn some texting shorthand. Net Lingo is a great site for parents. Scanning over it is very eye opening. There are some things there I didn't even imagine people would say! Naive me! Even after we'd had the texting/photo pornography talk with the kids.
After a week of texting I can only tell you what my number of texts sent is: five, I think. It appears I run in a crowd that prefers to talk rather than text. How will I ever polish my texting skills? If you'd like me to practice on you, e-mail me and give me your cell number. :)
Leave a comment below as to what you think my posting title means, "BHIMBGO". You can check your guess by looking on the Net Lingo site. I've had to go back there to remind myself what it was three times! Boy, do I have a lot to still learn!