Yep, some of our teens are sending up to 50 or even more text messages per day. This is concerning because, as we know, lots of information can be lost or misinterpreted in a text. There are no faces to read, no eyes to look into, no sighing and no crying to hear. We have got to help our teens with this way of communicating. Surely, we can teach them some things that will make their preferred mode of communication easier, safer, and more likely to come across as intended.
I suggest that we teach them about a “Five Second Rule.”
1. They should pause for five seconds to re-read a message before they send it. They might catch something that would be hurtful.
2. Perhaps, they can use these five seconds to see if their feelings last for that long.
3. During those five seconds they can make sure that the text is going to the right person. I have personally gotten into trouble with this one. I sent an “I love you” message intended for my daughter to a male co-worker. YIKES.
4. During these five seconds they can select an emoticon that might help clarify the tone of their message.
5. They can use these five seconds to consider whether or not the message should be delivered via a phone call or in person rather than via text.