Thursday, October 1, 2009


Yay! Another texting-while-living article! Happily, I never tire of these.

This piece, by the AP's Karyn D. Collins, quotes someone from the Johns Hopkins University's Civility Initiative [I love that name] who bemoans the fact that students increasingly multitask in environments - time with family, attending a lecture at school - that have traditionally called for some degree of single-mindedness.
"We're seeing behavior that you never would have seen before," he said. "Students getting up in the middle of class to answer their phones, texting during class, students watching TV on their laptops during lectures." -- P.M. Forni
Not only in my line of work but also in a class I'm taking off campus, I see this regularly: students who are confident they can attend to their social duties and functional obligations while staying in touch with their BFFs, constantly. For many of these folks, texting-while-living is so much better than merely being where they are.

Some parents respond with draconian restrictions and even investigations of their kids' text logs - one response that I can't accept. Instilling responsibility requires that you offer an opportunity to get things right, not just the threat that every error will be scrutinized. Still, the next generation's always-on/partially-there mentality troubles me.

I'm hoping to get past the "what's with these kids?" stage and gain some understanding of how this constant tappa-tapping makes sense to its practitioners. It's relatively easy to condemn the youth for being youthful. Heck, it's an ancient tradition! But I'm sure constant-texters hear such nattering as static, nothing more. I just don't yet know why.

Read the entire article: No texting at dinner! Parenting in the digital era

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