Yes, I edit my son’s text messages.
Earlier this year, Hal got a phone. I wasn’t sure how he would handle the responsibility of a phone, but you have to let kids earn trust sometimes. So he was given what he calls a “dinosaur.” Yes, he can make phone calls and text friends, send and receive pictures and videos. But he can’t log onto social media sites or download apps like Fruit Ninja or Shazam.
We’ve explained to him that the “dinosaur” was a whole heck of a lot more than what we had at the age of 11 (now 12) and that if he learned to use it responsibly and proved to us that he could take care of a phone, we’d consider an “upgrade” so that he could tweet, play Temple Run and take pictures of his dinner to post on Instagram.
His texts, however, are atrocious. There’s a new language, I guess, when it comes to digital communication. You don’t need to have proper grammar, you abbreviate words without any consistency, punctuation isn’t important and there’s no regard for spelling.
Of course, I insist on it. Why? Because I’m “just an old English major,” as he says. Well, maybe a little, but I think in order to effectively communicate, you need to have your message heard and understood. I waste an awful lot of time trying to decipher messages from adults. I’d like to make sure this kid starts off on the right foot.
For example, I got this message the other day:
Well be there in a min. Hell pick me up after practice
I knew what he meant. But I texted back that lack of punctuation in this case turned two words into other words and could be misinterpreted.
Let’s just say we don’t have a smartphone on our shopping list yet. As I always tell him, you have to be smart with a smartphone.
That’s the hope of a new initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in West Virginia — to teach athletes about being smart with their phones. U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld has started a program called “Project Future Two A Days” in 11 county high schools with athletes inspired by the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case.
Ihlenfeld said the case “was eye opening — one night with high school students involved with alcohol, (smartphones) and social media, how that can change the lives of those involved forever.”
The project will involve 15 minutes focusing on drugs and alcohol and 15 minutes on social media each day with athletes in 11 schools.
Is it enough to have a coach or an educator telling horror stories about what happens if you post that picture or tweet about drug or alcohol use? Can we make kids (who know it, by the way, just ask them) understand that what they post online stays forever? It can affect their future and their reputation. It can ruin them, too.
Speaking of the digital world, we took that question to our readers online, who log on each week to www.timeswv.com and vote in our weekly poll question. Last week, we asked “A program launched by the U.S Attorney’s office would expose athletes in 11 counties to education about drug and alcohol use and responsible use of social media. What are your thoughts?”
And there is what you had to say:
• Kids need to take their images and reputation on social media seriously. This may help.— 13.11 percent.
• U have got 2 B kidding. This will fall on deaf ears.— 22.95 percent.
• Eleven? How about all 55 counties! — 63.95 percent.
We’re on board with expanding the project throughout the state and hope that it has success. As for my football player, I hope someone will at least talk to him about the importance of spelling one day.
This week, let’s talk about an issue that stirring up a little controversy on the local level. Marion County wants to develop the riverfront of the Mon River on Fairmont’s East Side but lacks a key piece of property the City of Fairmont owns at Palatine Park. The county wants a trade and the city wants a partnership. Where do you stand?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online.
Yes, I edit my son’s text messages.
Miner’s Day: Recognize contributions and sacrifice
We must always recognize the contributions and sacrifice of our nation’s miners.
That’s a message being reinforced today, the fourth annual National Miner’s Day.
The observance was the dream of Fairmont artist Creed Holden, a Doddridge County native who moved to Marion County to attend Fairmont State.
United Way’s success string can continue with county’s generosity
One hundred and five thousand dollars.
That’s how much the United Way needs to reach its 2013-14 goal.
That goal is $425,000. And it’s a goal that has been topped only once here in Marion County. A total of $320,000 has been collected thus far, and that figure is impressive.
Renovations, improvements key steps to safer schools
In the nearly 12 months since the horrific shooting of 20 innocent students and six staff members at an elementary school in Connecticut, school security has remained an important issue.
Should Black Friday start on Thanksgiving?
George Takei, once just a character actor on a hokey 1960s television show, has found a new life as a social media guru. A very unlikely one.
Giving people of county help bring magic to holiday season
We want to simply say thank you to the people of Marion County.
Dealing with local small businesses is win-win option to strongly consider
With Thanksgiving in the past, the thoughts of shoppers are now on Christmas.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become common terms for big shopping days as consumers rush to purchase those special gifts for loved ones.
Pondering our precious blessings on Thanksgiving
We have reached another season and the celebrated day of Thanksgiving.
Safe driving critical during busy holiday travel season
Many of our readers will be going over a river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house this holiday. And whether it be a couple of exits or a couple of states away, there will be some time spent driving to Grandma’s.
Generosity can make this Friday’s Christmas Toy Shop biggest, best in its five-year history
Every child deserves a good Christmas.
That’s the philosophy that led to the first Christmas Toy Shop on “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, in 2009.
Ready for some robust Christmas shopping?
Well, Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat.
Maybe not too fat. The goose may be a little thin these days. With all that’s going on right now — recovering from a government shutdown, furloughs, a budget battle — people don’t really feel good about the economy. And when people don’t feel good about the economy, retailers worry.
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- Miner’s Day: Recognize contributions and sacrifice