Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Text or Not To Text

It's 9 o'clock... you know who your kids are texting?

This text exchange is between me and a kid I've never met.
I received the text out of the blue.
I replied because I thought it must be a friend playing a joke.

Turns out, it is one of Ella's classmates.
He got my number from the school directory.
He thought he was texting Ella.
I have never met this kid.
He doesn't know me from Adam.
Ella didn't know who it was and did not have the number in her phone.  (i checked)
I was also texting my girlfriends (including three police officers) to make sure I was handling this the right way.
When I asked him if he knew where I lived, he gave me the address to his house.

To be honest, the first message I received kind of cracked me up.
I even texted my girlfriends to help me come up with witty replies.
Then it kind of spooked me.
What if it was real?
What if he really did hang some guts from the ceiling?!?!?!

And the first message about the guts and body were intended for Ella.
Would she have laughed and replied - even though it came from a stranger?
Or would she have been worried?
Did this kid think he was gonna make her like him with that weird message?

I am sometimes very afraid of this texting business.
I really enjoy texting and do it a lot.
I am not always sure it is the right thing for our kids.
And we still let them do it.

Are we the only parents that give their kids texting rules?
I read what they write.
I know how to tell if they have deleted messages.
If they were to ever have this type of conversation with an adult, I would just die.

I guess the best we can do is make sure our own kids understand OUR texting rules.
And that we diligently enforce them.

I am not sure what my next step will be.
One of my girlfriends suggested that I contact the school principal or counselor.  I also thought about calling his mom.
But the truth is, I just don't think it bothers other people as much as it bothers me.
Ya know, the fact that the 13 year old boy was texting with a 41 year old woman that he has never met.

I just don't even know what to say.
It must be hard to be a teenager with all of this technology at the fingertips.
We've just got to do our best to steer them in the right direction and keep them safe - and allow them to make their own mistakes.
But NO texting with strangers.

And I can say all of this because you know I am SO perfect.

1 comment:

JL said...

wha??? i can barely believe what i have to look forward to...