Parents Can’t Text


Samuel Beetham

Soph. Danielle Kuiper looks down to check her phone between first and second hour and sees a text from her mom “I love you (heart emoji x20).” Kuiper looks up and sighs, “Really mom? Were all those extra hearts REALLY needed? Can’t you just try and be normal when it comes to texting?”

  Students get texts from their parents all the time; the problem with these texts is that they often do not resemble the regular “teen” language of texting. When it comes to texting, parents are behind with abbreviations and the use of emojis. Parents are also behind on how to physically type on a phone.  

  Texting language is informal and the writing style is intentionally grammatically incorrect almost all of the time. Soph. Kallyn Johnson texts with her mom a lot but gets frustrated when she feels the need to “Spell everything and write it out.” Parents don’t understand abbreviations or the informal writing style. Even common abbreviations such as “lol” (laugh out loud) or “gtg” (got to go) remain an unknown. Jr. Daniel Deforest also cites abbreviations as a problem with his parents, “(They) don’t understand them at all,”  Deforest said. Abbreviations are useful and make the texting conversation quicker paced and shorter. It is a great aspect of texting that parents should try to learn.

  Another regularly cited frustration for teens when texting their parents is the incorrect usage of emojis. When emojis are used, the context is important. As parents don’t fully understand what the emojis mean and how to use them, incorrect usage is common. Emojis are often used either excessively and/or redundantly. “The only emojis that they would typically send are the smiley face, the kissey face, and the thumbs up,” Kuiper said. The lack of variety of emojis can make for awkward communication. Either use emojis correctly or not at all. It is yet another thing that parents should learn to use correctly when it comes to texting.

  A final frustration that comes up with teens is how parents type. They will use any means of pointer fingers, to a single finger to a combination of random fingers all at the same time. “Just use your thumbs already,” Deforest said. Many parents don’t understand that typing with thumbs is actually the fastest way to type. As a result teens will spend time watching their parents typing painfully slow with fingers other than their thumbs. This is one of the most crucial, frustrating things that nearly all teens wish their parents would learn how to do.

  The generation of thumbs and touch screens is present and prevalent. Parents that lived in the past generation are having to catch up with times by learning the ways of texting. They can learn to text more efficiently with their teens by learning the abbreviations that are commonly used and the context of how and when to properly use emojis, they can also learn that by typing with their thumbs they will actually save time and gain the respect of their children. So, to parents everywhere, the teen population asks that you learn to text properly. Giving up a couple minutes to learn a couple tricks and tips will save you much more time down the road and will gain the respect of the teenage population.