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Kids Prefer Texting to Talking – Teens and Technology [SERIES]

This is the first part of a week-long, five-part series on technology and our kids. David Matthau talks to teens, their parents a child psychologist, a sociologist and an education expert to get different perspectives on the positive and negative aspects of technology, and how it’s affecting the way our children think and behave. Read the full series here.

You may not know a lot about technology – you may not like it – but chances are your kids do, and it’s definitely affecting how they’re thinking and behaving – every day at home, while they’re at school, and when they’re hanging around with their friends.

Flickr user: Jhaymesisviphotography

Fourteen year old Samantha – who lives in Central Jersey – says she’s totally reliant on her cell phone – 24 -7 – and she prefers texting rather than talking because, “It’s just a lot easier, it’s faster, you’ve only got to click a couple of buttons and send and you’re good.”

However, there are frequent mix-ups and misunderstandings.

“I was texting one of my other friends,” she says, “and I got into a mix of conversations and it does get confusing…cause you can’t hear their voice- so you don’t understand the way that they’re saying it.”

Samantha adds there’s texting constantly going on, even when she is talking face-to-face with friends.

“It’s kinda just normal now to me” she says, “I mean I don’t mind just looking at someone and they’re texting while we’re talking back and forth.”

But what about the boys?

Central Jersey teen Tristen also prefers texting over any other form of communication – especially when dealing with members of the opposite sex.

“I think it’s a lot easier to talk to girls when you’re on the text message” he says, “cause you don’t have to walk up to them and see what they’re thinking – when you see a girls face – when you get them angry – it’s not a pretty sight and then they might flip out on you or something…it gets kinda scary when you’re in person with the girls and you say something that’s really offensive to them – you should just see their face- just pure waves of anger just comes out!”

He’s quick to add, however that if you want to ask a girl out, “texting is not the right way to do it- you should actually walk up to the girl and ask her out. Or if you want to break up, it’s better to not do it with a text message.”

Like Samantha, Tristen says he also has many texting misunderstandings with friends.

“They think you’re saying something bad about them or bad about another person” he says, “and then they get all defensive or they feel bad for you or something like that…and sometimes, you have to call them to explain.”

Is all this texting healthy or harmful? Tomorrow we’ll hear what the experts say.

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