The other day, my son had done something we didn't approve of and so we took his cell phone away and access to the computer. He loves technology for what it offers, both good and not so good: YouTube, social networks for kids or not (myspace) and research for school. Over the course of a summer break, he taught himself how to read music, play the guitar and follow along with these videos to learn certain songs - I must admit, he's really good. He also loves having a cell phone; more of a status thing with the kids I guess. My purpose was to make sure we knew when, where, why stuff so we can keep track of his every move. I recently switched texting capabilities to unlimited in hopes that it would save on costs for talking to his mom, sister and me and to some extent, his friends. To my surprise, it did cut down on the monthly phone bill, but his text messaging was at a whopping 3,200 plus texts in one month... Really, how many LOL, TTFN, IDK, NP texts can one kid send. Kids don't even write complete sentences anymore or spell the words out completely. It's a whole new language that I'm not 'in the know' about. Needless to say, I'm not okay with the whole texting thing, which seems to be the most widely used communication tool for high schoolers. I don't like the fact that I can't filter or monitor what or who he texts as easily as I can monitor history or filter websites on our home computer. I guess this is nothing new with schools who deal with this all the time.
So with 3,000 plus text messages in a month, (compared to my daughter, who's older, with just 230) I wondered if this technology and others are necessary or a necessity..?
Sometimes I think that the more we provide for our kids, the less we actually give them. I remember being outside all day long and coming in to eat and then going back out. I remember my son riding his skateboard and playing basketball for hours and then come in and play his guitar. I realize that technology gives them access to more information and knowledge, but is it really making a difference? Does this knowledge transfer to wisdom or should it? I don't have the answers, but I was intrigued by this video which shed some light on this particular topic.
So I don't have all the answers, but seriously 3,000 plus texts in a month? Yes, we did have the talk. Of course, he did text me back...