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Can text messaging bring together parents and teens?

When you’re not a teenager, communicating with one is a hassle, to say the least. If you’re younger, you’re considered a lesser being and accordingly scorned. If you’re older, you’re out of touch — and that’s a nice way of putting it. Really, teenagers think that their elders are a bunch of idiots who have clearly never gone through what they’re going through. (It feels good when they finally come around, right?) Apparently, though, if you communicate via their medium of choice — that is, text messaging — they might actually be receptive. Go figure.

This comes from the results of a survey by Samsung. They find that 68 percent of parents communicate with their kids via text message. And over half of teenagers say that they communicate with their parents more often through text messaging. This is about the same percentage that think that their relationship with parents has been improved since they started texting. Slightly fewer parents agree, but it’s still very close.

I can see how this makes sense. Text messaging is a passive communications medium. You can tap out a quick text message to your parents letting them know you’re okay, and no one is the wiser. Whereas if you have to call to update your parents, you have to leave the group for a moment.

Teens don’t want their peers to know that they’re attached to their parents. They want to seem independent. So by communicating via text, teens can keep in touch with their parents, and at the same time retain their veil of independence among friends.