Sunday, February 28, 2010

American Tweens Send 1000+ Text Messages Every Month

We just read a study from NielsenWire that found that American tweens send 1,146 text messages every month. That's four SMS every hour that they are not in school. That's a lot than we would have thought, and our tweens have mobile phones. Hmm . . . better switch to that unlimited text plan.

Kajeet, a mobile phone service developed for kids (full disclosure: Verizon Wireless is our mobile phone service provider), recently published guidelines for responsible cell phone use for tweens. Among the strategies listed, we loved their tip about having the phones charge overnight in a location OTHER than their rooms to discourage unsupervised, late night texting).

Rules in our family regarding mobile phone use include the following:
  • Phones are forbidden at the dining table (mind you, this rule is toughest for the parents to follow at times)
  • Phones must be turned off during the school day
  • The girls may not answer a call from a number they don't recognize; we screen
  • Tweens are fully aware that mom reviews their texts on their phone at random

Do your tweens have mobile phones? Do they practice safe text-messaging? Certainly texting helps tweens stay in touch with their friends and family, but with cyber-bullying on the rise, are they aware of how to handle themselves using this medium?

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