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Posts Tagged ‘texting’

Texting and the Dead Goat

goatA couple of weeks ago I saw a guy get his nose spread across his face like peanut butter by a wicked spin heel kick at a Taekwondo tournament. It was an inspiring and bloody mess. Lexie missed the astonishing kick because she was checking her texts.

While we were driving to the mall, Sandor and I watched a mother deer and her three tiny spotted fawns bound across the street, right in front of our car. Sandor and I  squealed and gasped as though having some kind of happy seizure but Lexie and her friend, missed it because they were texting.

Not long ago Sandor missed seeing a dead goat on the side of the road because he was playing with Lex’s phone.  Every little boy  wants to look at the bloated body of  a dead goat!

You get the idea and I’m just as guilty. Last week as Sandor was reading to me, telling me about the Basset Hound with the longest ears in the world (over a foot long according to the Guinness Book of World Records). He was waving his hands around talking about this dog, when my phone lit up. And I checked my text. The text from a co-worker said, “it’s raining here”.  And while I was reading that text Sandor wandered off because
I wasn’t paying attention to him anymore.

Kids text each other from the deer stand in the middle of the woods and entire families sit in the bleachers during football games staring at their phones. Yes, they manage to see the big plays but then they miss the coach when he high fives their son, they miss seeing their boy sitting alone and dejected on the bench, because he missed a big tackle.  We are all missing out on the moments that give life flavor.

As long as teenagers are texting or waiting for their phone to go off and make their butt buzz, they aren’t really engaged in life. If they are texting while they watch tv with the family, are in the car or sitting at the bus stop, they are in two different places at one time and they are missing the show.

I hate writing off an entire generation but, I think it’s too late for the teenagers and twenty year olds(sorry guys, you can’t be saved). The dye has been cast, so we might as well move on. But as parents we might be able to help our younger kids. Before you give them their first phone, make some rules for texting and make sure they apply to you as well.

1. No texting when you’re eatting with another person.

2. No texting when you are involved in an actual activity, like deer hunting, skydiving or wake boarding. Enjoy the moment, even if it’s a quiet one.

3.  If I’m driving NOBODY gets to text in the car. (you don’t want to miss seeing that dead goat)

Technology has gotten ahead of us.  Once upon a time we thought it was  a good idea to put cocaine in Coke-a-Cola and to give it to depressed middle aged women. We thought cigarettes were actually good for us. Doctors believed mercury baths were a great way to cure stds or venereal diseases (yup it cured the disease alright  but it also killed the patient).

After a while we figured out mercury and cocaine were actually BAD for us. Maybe that’s the case with of texting. We have an amazing technology but we don’t actually know how it will effect us socially, intellectually or physically in the future.

I recently read a report that teens make far less eye-contact now because they are so accustomed to looking at their damn cell phone.

Once, my son Jack, said, “nothing really important ever gets said in a text,” and he’s absolutely right. It can all wait. Don’t let texting blind you to the beauty, tragedy and taste  of life and stay away from the mercury baths.

 

How Teen Sexting Starts….Yup, They Told Me The Truth

sextingDear Parents, the code has been broken.  One of Lexie’s friends recently explained to me exactly how teen age sexting with pictures starts.

As parents when we hear that a teenaged girl is in a pickel because she sent a picture of her boobs to a boy we sigh and groan and say ‘what the hell was she thinking, how could this happen?” Well, now I know.

It goes something like this and according to my 15 year old informant the script doesn’t vary much.

Girl and boy are flirting via text.

Guy: “I’m just lying here watching tv. I wish you were here.”

Girl: “Me too”.

Guy: “I’m  sore from lifting weights. But look at this”. Then he sends a picture of himself with his shirt off looking all ripped.

Girl: “Nice lol”

Guy: “You should send me a picture”.

Girls sends a picture of her pretty face.

Guy: “That’s not fair. Send me a good picture.”

And then…if the girl is stupid(that’s how teenager put it)…she sends him a picture of her boobs or maybe she’s wearing a bra. If she’s smart she laughs at him and says something like “No way.”

Then the teenager and Lexie and I discussed the next thing that happens. Both the boy and girl take their phones to school. The girl shows other girls the picture of the guys muscular chest, everybody comments and it’s not that big of a deal.

And the guy does the same thing. He shows all his friends, team mates and acquaintances, even his little brother and uncle,  the picture of the girl without her shirt. And it’s a very big deal because he promised he wouldn’t show anyone.

A friend of mine who is a fifty year old business man told me his sixteen year old son and two best friends were looking at a picture of a girl on their phone. then they handed it to my middle aged friend. He looked, of course, then deleted it andyelled at the boys. But he looked, because he’s a guy.

So girls, think about that.  They boy might show it to his dad. And if his dad is a total perv and ass he might not delete it.  When you send that picture of your boobs, lots and lots of people will probably see it.

As parents I think we have a few options.  We can pull our children out of school and keep them at home for the next ten years.

We can take away their phones or at least give them phones without cameras. Or, we can warn our daughters that this is how the situation almost always unfolds.  The boy will show everybody the pictures on his phone because he’s proud of them and thinks their hot. It doesn’t make him a bad guy, it just makes him a normal guy.

After I learned all this from the 15 year old I called one of my older, 20 something kids.  I started explaining how all the teenaged sexting starts and was interrupted when they laughed and said,  “Mom, I know how it starts.”

Ouch!  And I made a mental note. “Never ever pick up older childs’ phone and casually glance at the photos without permission.”

*Names have not been included to protect the innocent and guilty.

Rude, Texting, Teens…Our Country Is Lost

 

Teenagers, they are rude and selfish, withdrawn and distant. That’s what adults think all the time. It seems kids  have lost the ability to carry on a conversation. Or, maybe they can, but they just don’t want to make the effort. So they text and hide behind long swoopy hair when surrounded by adults.

This makes us think they are dysfunctional and possibly stupid. Futhermore, we become worried about the future of our country.  If our children can’t speak intelligently what will happen to America? Will incoherent skate board punks fill the Senate?

First, you have to remember, every generation of teenagers has  been seen as troublesome, dangerous and rude.  I can still see my brother, with his long swoopy hair and shredded jeans as he headed off to Woodstock. Why would he want to talk to adults, they were so old.

I was trying to explain this situation to my 15 year old, Lexie, (who is actually very good at talking to almost anyone with ears) when I realized, most teenagers are actually pretty decent creatures. They simply don’t know what to say to adults who are not part of their world. They can’t talk to them about music or school or most movies.

After “how are you?” kids are at a loss, things get quiet and awkward so they start looking at the cell phones. A fourteen year old boy can’t say so a fifty year old man, “How’s your wife? How are the kids, has your 401K tanked yet?” So, what’s he supposed to do?

If a kid or teenager is stuck at a table or in an office with an adult, I came up with three questions they can ask and the old person will think they are wonderful, insightful and smart.

1. “So, what profession are you in?”  “What do you do for a living?”  Ask about work.

2.”Oh, you’re a teacher(cop, architect, ditch digger) “What’s your favorite part of being a….(dentist,  rodeo clown, CPA, hair band lead singer)?

3. “What did you do before you were a …..(porn star, lawyer, boogie board champion)?

Three questions, that’s all they have to remember and adults will think they are brilliant and destined for greatness. 

And guess what? Lex tried my system with a 45 year old man I introduced her to at a non-profit event and discovered he was an interesting guy!

He was just really really old.

*comment or email me at hampoland@gmail.com, or you can text me if you feel the need 501 545-8372. Thanks!

Teens #1 Complaint About Their Parents

I was poking around on Twitter and found the category/hash tag for “I hate it when my parents…”. In Twitterland it looks like this#ihatewhenmyparents.

As far as I can see the number one complaint from teenagers and kids seems to be when we ask who they are texting. First, I kind of want to tell all these whinny kids to shut up and stop bitching because I’m paying for your phone, but that won’t really help.

Instead, I will say this. Kids, you need to understand that cell phones are very new, and texting is even newer. The first text was sent in 1994 and it was really slow catching on. Now all teens text all the time.  You keep your cell phone clutched in your fist like the  Bald Eagle keeps his deadly talons  wrapped around the American flag.  God forbid anyone try to remove that cell phone from you fist.

As an adult, I can tell you,  it seems as though you are having a bunch of conversations with people we can’t see or hear, right in front of us. Wait, that’s exactly what you are doing. And it’s really really rude. I know you don’t see it that way because you grew up with texting. But we don’t know who you are talking to or what you are talking about. And that’s creepy.

For all I know my beautiful fifteen year old daughter  might be making a deal with a pimp to buy hookers for her boy friend along with an ounce of Purivian cocaine…and she’s doing all this while she is eatting a Pop Tart in the kitchen with me.

You wouldn’t sit at the dinner table with me, eating Thanksgiving dinner, while having a detailed conversation on the phone. You know that would be rude because you are a smart kid.Well, texting is the same thing.And at least, when you are on a real phone, we get the general idea that what and who you are talking to. I’m able to tell you are making plans to go to the movie with your friends and you are not discussing the rising prices of condoms or how to buy Jack Daniels without an ID.

When you text in front of us, we don’t know what the hell you are talking about or who you are talking to. Don’t get mad when we ask, be grateful you have a parent that cares.  I know a lot of kids who don’t have any adults in their lives who care what or who they do.

So we ask, “who are you talking to?” Answer politely, unless it is a Colombian drug lord, and stop texting while you are hanging out with us. We love you and don’t really want to take your phone away. And when you grow up, if you text in front of your boss, he’s probably going to fire you.

The second biggest complaint about parents on Twitter seems to be “I  hate it when my parents come in my room, then when they leave they don’t close the door.”  Hey, grown ups, close the door when you leave your teenagers room! Good Lord, thats just common courtesy…so they can text bad things about you in peace. Just kidding.  I don’t think they are actually interested enough in our lives to spend much time texting about us.

Please let me know what you think, write to me at hampoland@gmail.com  or leave a comment. You can even text me if your really need to.

Eating While Texting…That’s Dangerous!

Of course driving and texting is a deadly combination. But texting tragedies don’t just happen on our highways and dirt roads.

We are  surrounded by texting fools who are putting us all in harms way! And sometimes we are the fools.

Last week I made the mistake of trying to text with my left hand while I was eating a salad with my right. I stabbed myself in the face with a fork. Not only was it embarrassing, it really hurt and I got Ranch Dressing all over my shirt.

We must all be careful in Wal-Mart and K-Mart now. Crazy kids and soccer moms stare at their phones, texting their bffs and moving like zombies. They inadvertently run over old ladies and small children. They are so engrossed in their texting they don’t even feel the cart as it bumps over the flailing arms and legs.

And of course the newest danger in the gym…idiots who try texting while running on the treadmill. Runners loose their balance and footing while texting “LOL” to their super hot girlfriend. In a split second tragedy strikes. Runner Dude flies off the back of the treadmill. New Balance running shoes sail across the room and hit the people on the elliptical. His phone crashes to the floor, the battery pops out and all communication is lost.

Texting is a serious threat to us all. It’s a cruel world so be careful out there.

Talk to me!  leave a comment or e-mail me at hampoland@gmail.com, just don’t text me. I care about you too much for that.

Texting And STD! Attention Parents

A couple of weeks ago I saw a guy get his nose spread across his face like peanut butter by a wicked spin heel kick at a Taekwondo tournament. It was an inspiring and bloody mess. Lexie missed the astonishing kick because she was checking her texts.

While we were driving to the mall, Sandor and I watched a mother deer and her three tiny spotted fawns bound across the street, right in front of our car. Sandor and I both kind of squealed and gasped as though having some kind of happy seizure but Lexie and her friend, Katie Marie, missed it because they were texting.

Not long ago Sandor missed seeing a dead goat on the side of the road because he was playing with Lex’s phone.  What seven year old boy doesn’t want to look at the bloated body of  a dead goat?

You get the idea and I’m just as guilty. Last week as Sandor was reading to me, telling me about the Basset Hound with the longest ears in the world (over a foot long according to the Guinness Book of World Records). He was waving his hands around talking about this dog, when my phone lit up. And I checked my text. The text from a co-worker said, “it’s raining here”.  And while I was reading that text Sandor wandered off becasue I wasn’t paying attention to him anymore.

Kids text each other from the deer stand in the middle of the woods and entire families sit in the bleachers during football games staring at their phones. Yes, they manage to see the big plays but then they miss the coach when he high fives their son, they miss seeing their boy sitting alone and dejected on the bench, because he missed a big tackle.  We are all missing out on the moments that give life flavor.

As long as teenagers are texting or waiting for their phone to go off and make their butt buzz, they aren’t really engaged in life. If they are texting while they watch tv with the family, are in the car or sitting at the bus stop, they are in two different places at one time and they are missing the show.

I hate writing off an entire generation but, I think it’s too late for the teenagers and twenty year olds(sorry guys, you can’t be saved). The dye has been cast, so we might as well move on. But as parents we might be able to help our younger kids. Before you give them their first phone, make some rules for texting and make sure they apply to you as well.

1. No texting when you’re eatting with another person.

2. No texting when you are involved in an actual activity, like deer hunting, skydiving or wake boarding. Enjoy the moment, even if it’s a quiet one.

3.  And no texting in the car. (you don’t want to miss seeing that dead goat)

Technology has gotten ahead of us.  Once upon a time we thought it was  a good idea to put cocaine in Coke-a-Cola and to give it to depressed middle aged women. We thought cigarettes were actually good for us. Doctors believed mercury baths were a great way to cure stds or venereal diseases (yup it cured the disease alright  but it also killed the patient).After time we realized the opossite was true. Maybe that’s the case with of texting. We have an amazing technology but we don’t actually know how it will effect us socially, intellectually or physically in the future.

Once, my son Jack, said, “nothing really important ever gets said in a text,” and he’s absolutely right. It can all wait. Don’t let texting blind you to the beauty, tragedy and taste  of life and stay away from the mercury baths.

Three Cruel and Abritrary Rules that Make My Family Happy

"Love Me Or Die, Buddy".

I’VE ALWAYS MADE UP  CRUEL AND GOOFY RULES FOR MY FAMILY, as a result we are all pretty happy, noisy and in love with each other. I know it sounds revolting and sappy, but it works.

So, here are three random and possibly cruel rules we’ve enforced and they have helped keep our family tight tight tight.

#1. No child (and I have four ages 22-7) will ever have a television or dvd player in their bedroom.  Pretty brutal I know. We have one tv in the living room and Alex and I have one in our bed room that we share with the kids.  I just can’t stand the idea of my children disappearing into their bedrooms for five or six years to watch Family Guy, or falling asleep every night with the television on.

The end result of not allowing individual televisions…we hang out together a bunch, I know what they are watching and we all know how to negotiate. 

2. We call each other names, all the time.  “Hey Poop face it’s time to wake up”.  “You won’t eat my spinach, artichoke and feta omelette? You are a big chicken baby cheese cake”.  Or I sing Bob Seager’s Beautiful Loser to my ridiculously pretty daughter.

The only rule on name calling is you can’t call someone a name that’s actually true.  For example, Alex can’t make fun of my big nose, because I really do have a big nose and that would hurt my feelings.

#3. No one is allowed to text when they are in the car with me.  I  have to tell all Lexie’s teen-aged friends about the no texting in the car rule before they get in. I tell them I made the rule because I’m paranoid and insecure and I think they are all talking about me , (the text would look like this ‘ur mom suxs’ ).

But the truth is, I just think texting in the car is rude. If you are getting a ride from me or hanging out with my family, don’t spend all your time talking to other kids.

The truth is I make up cruel and arbitrary rules all the time. (When the kids were little, if they said ‘shut up’ they had to suck their thumb, no matter how dirty, for two minutes.)

Hey, if you’ve got any to share maybe I’ll start enforcing yours too.

Boredom vs Creativity and World of War Craft

Boredom vs Creativity and World of War Craft      Recently, I heard a piece on NPR about boredom, it’s good for us. According to Jim Sollisch boredom leads to creativity. Ok, I’ll buy into that. When we are bored, we dream and doodle, we are creative. I thought that was pretty interesting, so I dug a little deeper. and found a piece by Dee Kumar Boredom is Good for Creativity, Why the IPad, Internet and TV Helped ruin Creativity.

Apparently, today’s families never really disconnect and get bored… When we are bored we find something to distract us, we check our facebook or e-mail, we text a friend, turn on the TV, anything to avoid being bored. Creativity is dying and my kid’s brains are turning to goo because they rarely whine those infamous words,” I’m soooo bored.”
You can see where this is going.
I thought about this problem all day and decided my family should unplug for just thirty minutes a day, we need to eat more green leafy vegetables and be bored at least once a day. I wondered, if their goo filled heads would explode, would their fingers continue to tap and twitch as though texting an invisible friend? Probably texting “my mom suxs”” And I’m embarrassed to admit this but what really concerned me was what time  we would turn everything off. And what show would we miss? Dancing with the Stars? Billy the Exterminator or Glee. Pathetic, right? I figured we would have to do it early in the evening, right after the news. There’s nothing on worth watching good then.

When I made my proclamation the reaction really wasn’t that bad. Lex,who is the consummate facebooking/texting thirteen year old, kind of shrugged and said ok, then disappeared to read and practice her guitar. That was good because I actually haven’t heard her play in about six months. Creativity lives on!
Alex, my husband found a book, stretched out to read, but he promptly fell asleep. Sandor the seven years old had the biggest problem even though he plays alone in his room all the time. But when ordered to “play” he was lost. Finally he found a knock knock book and an elephant puppet. Ever three minutes he came into the kitchen to let the elephant perform.

Knock knock
Who’s there?
Alaska
Alaska who?
I’ll Ask Ya one more time to open this door.

After a few minutes of that, he ended up under the kitchen table with the puppy in a staring contest. The puppy started licking himself and Sandor won the battle.
Finally Sandor asked if he could play with Lexie. He told her the knock knock jokes then they made up mean names to call each other, just for fun, like “chicken baby cheese cake”, “freaky frog face” and “puppy breath” That’s pretty creative. Ok, basically, they did what they always do.
And me? Well, apparently I have problems because the kids are laughing, Alex is snoring and here I sit, in the bathroom with my laptop wondering, what time Biggest Looser comes on tonight.

Then I started wondering is creativity really on it’s death bed? There still seems to be plenty of music, movies art work and books in the world. But I do worry a whole lot about the kids who spend hours every day playing video and computer games. It seems almost obscene and I question their parents parenting skills but the truth I’ve known a lot of kids who played hours and hours and hours of video/computer games (especially World of War Craft and Halo) and most have turned out just great. They are smart, athletic and social. (I actually hate admitting this) I’m not alone in my concern.

Yesterday Sandor put a pair of his boxers on our dog. He even made the dog’s tail stick out the fly, and Lexie covered her door with duct tape and patches of demin. I don’t know what other kids do when they are bored but I think we might be ok for now.