Survey finds parents have bad texting habits, too
A recent survey conducted by TRU Research and sponsored by LG mobile phones reveals bad texting habits normally associated with teenagers can be just as common with their parents.
Posted July 19, 2010
By JIM SQUIRES, EVERGEEK MEDIA
Texting while driving, at the dinner table, and even sexting has become routine for many - but not just them whippersnappers as you might expect. A new TRU Research survey shows parents to be just as preoccupied.
The LG Text Ed survey picked the brains of 13 -17 year olds as well as the parents of that same group in order to explore the texting habits of both demographics.
While certain resulting statistics about teenagers may seem less than surprising - 69 percent of those surveyed text during dinner; 83 percent text during the middle of the night; 43 percent admitting to some form of sexting - it's the frequency with which parents engage in these same activities that surprises.
Of the 1,049 parents surveyed, 28 percent have participated in sexting and 42 percent have texted during dinner. Almost half of all parents surveyed admitted to texting while driving - roughly the same percentage as their teenage counterparts.
But while this may sound like a death knell for traditional family values, some argue that reaching children through their preferred method of communication can potentially strengthen family bonds.
"Texting is a powerful tool that, when used properly and responsibly, can provide many positive benefits including opening the lines of communication and facilitating closer relationships," said Dr. Charles Sophy, child and family psychiatrist and member of the LG Text Ed advisory council. "It's one more way for parents to model appropriate behavior to their children," he added
While setting an example is important, so is being aware of your child's activities. In this regard, the LG Text Ed survey has delivered a failing grade to text-savvy parents. While 45 percent of teens text and drive, only 4 percent of parents believe their children participate in such behavior. Similar statistics show a significant divide between parents understanding of other unwanted behaviors, from sexting to bullying via text.
Regardless of the apparent disconnect between teen behaviors and parental awareness of them, the majority of parents and teens agreed that being able to text with each other has strengthened their familial connection. With 90 percent of parents and 58 percent of teens saying that texting each other makes them feel closer, the LG Text Ed makes a strong case for parents becoming actively involved in the digital lives of their children.