This post is for parents who are new to the cell phone and internet connected world of teenagers and usage patterns.
It should come as no surprise that teens text, on average, 2108 times per month. Actually this number is down from a few years ago when it was up around 4000. I imagine other apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsUp are replacing, at least for some teens, the native messaging app on their phones.
What is surprising, at least to me, is that teens are receiving text messages in the middle of the night. Unless a teenager is a doctor on call, or a tech for an ISP, or are somehow connected to the nuclear arsenal of the United States, there is ABSOLUTELY NO NEED for a teenager to have a cell phone in their room at night. Messages simply are not that important that they cannot wait until the morning. In all actuality, it is 99.9% likely that nothing good would come out of a text from someone in the middle of the night.
It is encouraging that 52% of parents, according to Safely, are checking their teenager’s texting history and contact list. What’s discouraging is that 48% of parents are not checking any texting history or contact lists.
We need to make sure that we are helping our teenagers learn to handle and use these extremely powerful devices with responsibility and wisdom.