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.
Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease
“Preventable, but not curable.”
That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
He could also use the word “deadly.”
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.
If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is
Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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