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Kids and Texting

iPhone Texting

[Any day in my house]

My daughter: Mom sent you a text.

Me: What’s it say?

My daughter: Close the garage door. Smiley face with sunglasses.

Me: Text her back, “Got it. Hashtag done.”

My daughter: Texting now.

[END SCENE]

How did this happen? The way we communicate has fundamentally shifted to texting. Every three months, mobile users in the United States will send roughly 1 trillion text messages.

1 trillion of anything is a big number.

And if your ministry is anything like mine (or your house), kids are texting more and more. Is this a big deal?

Yes and here’s four ways texting has changed the way we communicate:

1. Instead of conversations, we have short bursts of words on a screen. In fact, texting is growing as the preferred method to communicate to another person, whether you are an adult in business, a teenager, or a child.

2. Through texting, instead of picking up on body language and facial expressions, we rely on emoji and copious amounts of exclamation marks. Yes!!

3. Texts spark immediate response and when that response does not come, it often leads to impatience or curiosity (is everything ok? Are you there? Hello? Answer me!).

4. Texting has no boundaries. There is no way to turn off texting or set up an automatic reply. Without those boundaries, texting leads to asynchronously pinging your friends or family anytime and in any circumstance from making big announcement to asking a question about how to make a poached egg, all while the person is on vacation.

My advice? Text less. Talk more.

Now I need to go close the garage door.

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