Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cell Phone and Computer Etiquette for Teens

I'm having an ongoing debate (euphemism for all out war) with my teenagers about their cell phone ('mobile' to UK types) usage and computer usage. They say I am clueless and old fashioned.

When we got the phones, we explained they were for business (we own our own and sometimes need to communicate when we are in different locations) but that they were welcome to use them for personal calls.

Then came the change in behaviors. When the children struggled to wake up each morning, saying they hadn't slept well, I checked the phone logs and computer logs. Sure enough. Texting and playing on facebook all night long. I don't care whether Mark Zuckerberg is Time Magazine's Person of the Year, teenagers texting and using facebook all hours of the night deprives them of well needed sleep.

I swear, he is texting everywhere he goes.

I set the rule based on my own refined breeding when I was young. Don't call anyone after 9 p.m. and not before 9 a.m. (on weekends 10 a.m.) except in extreme emergencies. Chatting did not and does not constitute an emergency, no matter how critical it is to keep in touch with friends. I made an exception and opened up my eldest's phone when he was talking with someone expressing suicidal ideation. He assured me, that all was well when they hung up. That was months ago and the individual is undergoing counseling.

Many articles on sleep deprivation call attention to the constant stimulus we have in society from TV, film, DVD, VCR, cell phones, computers and the like.

I use my computer in the wee hours. With the medications I take, I'm up at night and unable to return to sleep. I try for the eight hours sleep. The children's doctor suggested good regenerative rest was needed.

52.25 - Sleeeeep!

But they insist that I am outdated. My 'good manners' don't apply to the modern world. My children say 'all of their friends are allowed to text all night' or go on their computers all night.

They accuse me of being a control freak. I am adamant about their getting sleep and learning good manners. I put turn off times on both cells and computers. Cell phones turn off at 9 p.m. despite the fact they say their friends don't have any restrictions. Computers turn off later, but I block facebook/IM etc. at 10 p.m. and turn them off at 11 p.m.

Am I alone in this? Are all other parents out there allowing unrestricted usage for their children and cellphones/computers? What are your cut off times or do you think the 9 p.m. rule is outmoded or outdated? If I am THE LONE VOICE proclaiming the need for teenagers and people, for that matter, to have a time that electronics shut off, please let me know.

this is radio nowhere

I googled cell phone restrictions and teen usage of cell phones, but found most issues surround not using them in public, movie houses, restaurants and speaking of personal things too loudly. Next to nothing spoke with authority on the mores of society in regard to the hours of cellphone use, especially for teens.

Four Seasons

Please tell me I am not The Lone Voice for courtesy and manners.

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