Text, Steve, Text

My kids text. I text. In fact, my younger son only texts; he doesn’t talk on the phone anymore. But, some of my adult friends refuse to learn to text and my wife barely knows how and responds…usually…within a week or so. This is a problem for those parents that want to be at least slightly “in touch” with their kids. Like my friend Steve.

Steve is a CPA and a good one.  We were involved in a charity group and would often go to dinner with a large group and Steve would always be given the check because he’d instantaneously calculate each person’s share, to the penny.

Steve has two young girls, and is a devoted dad.  However, when it comes to technology, he often is resistant, to put it mildly.  He has a cell-phone and a computer, but he refuses to join ANY social media outlet or to use texting, AT ALL.

I love Steve, especially because he makes me feel like I’m a tech genius – ha!  I’ve tried to explain to him – why he should begin texting – but he won’t listen.  Okay, I’m going to try again.  I’m a so-called parenting expert so here goes, Steve!

DO IT FOR YOUR KIDS?  Do you really want to be part of that generation that just never gets it?  Like our parents?  Huh, huh?  Your kids are growing up with everything technological – it’s second nature to them – so YOU have to at least try to catch up so YOU can relate to them, so YOU can monitor what their doing, and frankly so YOU can not be an old fart!

Steve, you tell me that your kids don’t even have cell-phones yet.  Trust me, Steve, you and your wife will get them cell-phones and they will be texting, they will be playing games on their cell-phones, and you will still be trying to figure out auto-dial.   So, Steve, I say “text, Steve, text” and learn it now!

  • http://www.keywordshack.com/ Keyword Research Service

    I could have tried to relate to Steve, had we still been in the pre-qwerty cellphone keyboard days. Trying to learn how to text, even with T9 turned on on, that way would pose an understandable hurdle.
    But come on! Get a qwerty keyboard phone and text away. It’s easier than adding a new contact to the list.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      I couldn’t agree more! You try talking to him! Lol.

  • Baracuda

    Once Steve’s kids get their phones and start texting, Steve should at least enable his phone to receive (that is, change his plan to allow texts without having to pay for them individually, and if his kids are texting and they’re on the family plan, unlimited texting will apply to Steve as well as his kids). Then Steve can easily receive texts from his kids (and others) but I would still support Steve around not always (or even, often) responding by text. I would especiall support him around not engaging in conversations by text, unless he finds he likes to. Short bursts of info are easy to text. Conversations are not. I’d rather talk than type, especially when typing on a tiny keyboard!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Good advice, but I still think “joining” in with your kids and understanding the world they LIVE in has many advantages. I discuss this in my parenting columns a lot. The value of being on Facebook, for instance is incalculable to parents but it has to be done very circumspectly! Thanks for the thoughtful comment Baracuda! Every time I see your name, I start singing the Heart song…can’t help myself!

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        So, I am NOW just found out that “Baracuda” is in fact “Steve!” And, that “Steve” has in fact changed his plan to a texting plan! Hooray! He would, of course, ONLY do it if there was no additional cost involved (he is a CPA after all), but he was able, naturally, to figure that one out and he informed me that he will also easily figure out how to text and that he plans to do so! I am so thrilled (really). I will credit BTT with it’s first convert, that I’m aware of, to a technological upgrade. Now, what can we get “Steve” to do next? Hmmm….

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Congratulations Steve! And thanks for being our first tech upgrade success story! (reading the news from Bruce here)

  • Georgina

    This is very true; the fact that younger generations are communicating predominately through texting means that parents definitely need to be involved and know how to use it. I know that both my parents are blackberry users, so we email back and forth all day as if it is a text, but neither actually texts. My mom does however have a BBM account but claims she doesn’t understand it…it guess its a compromise, using older mediums (email) on newer technology (smartphones)!

  • http://www.thedaddyyoblog.com TheDaddyYoDude

    I definitely have to agree that it is important for us as parents to be tuned into the kind of world our children grow up in. Mine are still very young, so I know it will be important for me to keep up with the technology that passes through their lives. Who knows what it will like then? Texting is one of those basics now that everyone should learn. Fast ways to communicate with others and access information with a few button presses. So steve: start firing away those texts and be able to compete with your kids in fastest text races haha. Show them that dad knows ;)

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Steve has told me he’s possibly upgrading his phone and might be learning to text! Wow! Now, that’s progress. I can’t wait! Next, we’ll see if I can get to on Facebook!

  • http://twitter.com/Krazy_Kris Kris M O’Connor

    LOL – I’ve been known to text back and forth with my son while in the same room. Sometimes it’s a joke… I do worry though that he’s not getting practice in old-fashion conversation – even crucial conversations that should not be texted. Today he was texting me about his allowance (yes the dollars in exchange for chores – think what you like). I told him that we needed to talk about that in person, and the chatter stopped. Really? Is 20 bucks not worth talking about?

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      My son, Aaron, no longer speaks to his friends on his cell phone much at all while his older brother still does. They say each technological generation is just a few years apart, so my boys actually represent two generations in how they use technology. It’s therefore sort of frightening for us parents as we are therefore truly light years behind if we don’t make that extra effort to keep up. While I didn’t intend this comment to be a plug for BTT, that is in essence what we’re all about. I’ve texted my kids while we were together at home and I’ve seen them text one another and friends while sitting in the car! It is crazy at times, isn’t it Kris? I really appreciate you’re jumping in so actively on our site. Thanks so much.

  • Ryan

    I am 17 years old and the only way my parents usually are able to contact me are through text messages. If my parents need to contact me when I am at school or at a party, the only way I am able to communicate with them is through text messages. Steve should definitely take a few minutes to figure out texting so he can contact his kids when they are out and about.

  • DavidNC

    Texting isn’t rocket science. Still, there are only about three people I routinely text. I probably send about 6 text messages per month…I think my service provider allows for literally 7 times as many as that in a month!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      If not for texting David, I wouldn’t have been inspired to write the “Typewriters to Texting” article that we recently posted about you and I! So, the benefits are obviously terrific – lol. I’m glad to be one of those three people!