The Dark Side of Teens Texting [infographic]
Seeing people today on a phone isn’t a surprise. We are more addicted to our digital devices than ever before. My guess that is you are addicted to your phone. If you don’t think so, please take our survey over here. We are working on our own infographic that would share how addicted youth pastors are to their phone. I find it easy to point the finger at students today for “always” being on their phones, but I am too. Actually, I am always on my phone…And I bet you are too!
Texting is a great way of communicating. Setting up a texting service like remind.com, which is free and easy to set up, is essential for youth pastors. It’s the most important way to communicating information each week with my students.
Here is an infographic called: Textually Active Teens: The Not-So Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Here are a few things that standout:
1. 63% of teens text everyday. My guess is that this is higher today. This infographic got their numbers from 3 years ago. I bet it’s creeping close to 85%. It is a rare thing today to see a student without a phone, and even rarer to not seeing them constantly texting. If they are communicating through text, we should be communicating that way.
You other social media posts probably won’t be viewed, but when that student receives that buzz or notification, they will check the message. I am always amazed at how successful mass texting is. The one program that we recommend is remind.com. It’s free and super simple to set up.
2. 1 in 4 have sent a sext message. This is the one number in here that should be freaking us out. Also, that boys are twice as likely to ask for sext messages than girls. We personally need to wake up to the issue surrounding sexting. These images are not private. What happens when one image that you send gets online or passed around. It could take students years to recover from such destructive images.
The image could pop up 20 years from now with your co-workers just searching your name. I disagree that the only issue is that they are more likely to have or had sex if they sent or received a sext message. The main issue is the students integrity in a digital world. How are we helping students make wise decisions in a digital world? Are we preparing them for the digital footprint that will follow them for the rest of their lives?
There are tons of programs out there to help parents. One program is called X3 Watch. It works on your computer, and all of your devices. It’s one simple way that parents can help their kids live out their walk with Christ in a digital world. I would recommend this to any parent. It’s worth the price if this resource can help guide your kids. It’s really a conversation starter.
3. 49% of teens have texted while driving. This stat hit me really hard last November when a youth ministry speaker at a conference stated that in 15 years from now we will all know someone who has been killed by someone who was texting and driving. My first response was really? Is it that bad? It really is. I never text and drive anymore. If I am honest, I have sent a few text messages while driving. I wasn’t focused on driving. It was dangerous. I fell really convicted that I need to model this for my kids, and the students in my ministry. So, when I get in the car, my phone goes away.
Almost half of all teens have texted while driving. This is alarming. It’s freaky. They are driving on the roads doing other things on their phones. How can we as youth workers help students? The biggest thing is that we can model it. We can actively engage students in conversations while driving.
There is a few thoughts on the infograhic called: Textually Active Teens: The Not-So Secret Life of the American Teenager.