How much texting is too much for kids?

Theresa M. Payton, National Cyber Security Expert, shares advice for parents on how much texting is too much for their children
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How much texting is too much for kids?

I think we did ourselves disservice in our families when the phone companies went to these unlimited texting plans and we all moved to that, because we were tired of the billing surprises. And so now we don’t really keep on top of texting. And the volume of texting for kids, especially teenagers, is taking off right now. I actually asked a middle school class, I said, “Hey, survey came out and said that young ladies in this age group are actually texting 4000 times a month.” And the boys in the room laughed and said that sounds really low. Now think about that for a moment. You’re supposed to be going to school, probably extra curricular activities, hanging out with your family, hanging out with your friends. When are you texting? You’re texting when you’re supposed to be doing other things. Kids think they’re multitasking, but what I call it is ‘task interruption’. Because that beep, that chirp is taking them away from homework; they’re also in class where they’re supposed to be listening to their teacher, wondering if they can hear their phone in their backpack, because it’s not supposed to be at their desk, and they’re not paying attention to their studies. And so a very high volume of texting, which we’re not paying attention to anymore with these all-inclusive plans, could be an indicator that grades are going to start to suffer, that extra curricular activities are going to start to suffer, and perhaps even their social life.

Theresa M. Payton, National Cyber Security Expert, shares advice for parents on how much texting is too much for their children


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Theresa M. Payton

National Cyber Security Expert

Theresa Payton is a well-known and highly respected national authority on cybersecurity, e-crime and fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. She has over twenty years of advanced business and security technology expertise and leadership at the highest levels of government and in the financial services industry, including being the first woman to serve as Chief Information Officer at the White House.  She is a wife and mother to three fabulous and fun kids.  She is also the co-author of the newly released book Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? and the founder of the S.A.F.E. Kids initiative - a classroom-based, digital safety program.

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