Effects of Texting on Elementary School Children

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Effects of Texting on Elementary School Children

You and your friends are probably texting, or instant-messaging or texting while instant-messaging several times a day. And there are several good reasons why: 
There are several tools, like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, available to you to use
Texting and instant-messaging are easy to learn and easy to use
The tools are convenient, especially the smartphone because it is compact and fits into a pocket or a purse or fanny pack
The tools deliver text and emails and messages very quickly and store them for later reading if the person receiving them is not online at the time or is away somewhere, like on vacation, and not there for face to face conversations
Texting and instant-messaging can give you a feeling of belonging 
Texting and instant-messaging can help shy children become more outgoing
Texting and instant-messaging can be a convenient way to check in with parents or to get help in an emergency.
In spite of these good reasons, there are some reasons to be concerned about the use of these tools by young people like yourself. Part of growing up and becoming a mature person is the ability to have face to face conversations. Face to face conversations offers more ways to communicate feelings and emotions than texting or emails or instant messaging. In face to face conversations, people can speak words quickly or slowly, and in tones that can be happy or angry, loud or soft. Also, each person in a face to face conversation can express themselves through facial expressions, such as a smile or a frown, or other physical means such as a hug or a shove. These are often referred to as body language. Yes, the words in a text or instant-message can communicate feelings but are much more limited than face to face conversations.   
Some kids are spending a lot of time communicating with others through a keyboard and screen at the same age that they're supposed to be learning to form and maintain relationships on a personal face to face basis. Adults see groups of kids sitting near each other and communicating by keyboard and screen instead of face to face, and worry that the kids are not developing skills that they would use face to face communications. Also spending a lot of time texting or instant-messaging can use the time that should be spent on school work. And can make family members feel less connected if texting and instant-messaging begin to replace conversations within the family.
And there can be a danger communicating online through the internet with strangers, because all you know about them is what they tell you, and they may not be very nice people who tell you lies.
Primary sources: Parenting.com, How Texting Changes the Way Kids Communicate, Robin Mejia and Texting and Children by Leah Davies, M.Ed. - KellyBear.com

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Word Lists:

Outgoing : friendly and socially confident

Facial : of or affecting the face

Laptop : a computer that is portable and suitable for use while traveling.

Tool : a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function

Conversation : a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged

Communicate : share or exchange information, news, or ideas

Vacation : an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling.

Compact : closely and neatly packed together; dense

Text : a book or other written or printed work, regarded in terms of its content rather than its physical form


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