Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Recent reports show that teens are bonded to their screen time, with many spending in excess of three hours a day glued to a television, computer or smartphone.  

Can't we use this for good?  If we already know their peepers will jump to the screen as it signals a new message, it may be useless to fight that - the smart thing to do is to control that message's content.  

How much more useful would texting be if we stopped texting LOL and started sharing important information, like the slope-intercept equation ("Why? Because y = mx + b, son;  y = mx + b.  Word.").

Try as I might, I never find enough spots to slip the slope-intercept stuff into the conversation and it's probably more useful than my current go-to comments: "What time do I have to pick you up?" and "Where are you? I've been sitting in the parking lot for 45 minutes!"

When my youngest son, Gonzo, got a cell phone you had to pay an additional fee to add texting.  My only rule was that he had to use complete, punctuated sentences.  It worked like a charm.   I did eventually soften that slightly because I felt bad when he was the kid who texted, "I, personally, am laughing out loud."

If this catches on, it could also be a new and effective parenting approach to determine the best time to get your child his or her first cell phone.  

"Cell phone?  You don't even DO Algebra or Geometry?  Why would you need to a cell phone?"

Tap into those texting opportunities to expand their knowledge.  I'm road testing this approach right now and it seems to be working great.

My son informs me he now wants to be a history teacher.  Who's laughing now?


  1. I am having a physical reaction, dear Cherdo, experiencing rhythmical, audible contractions of my diaphragm and other parts of my respiratory system in response to specific external stimuli, namely this post of yours. My reaction is a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states, including joy, mirth and happiness. ( LOL)

    Good Golly, Miss Molly, I had to stay up all night cramming to prepare for this brain busting post. You've made me hungry for a big ole slice of pi.

    I think your textacademics idea has merit, but I believe we should also be covertly educating our children during face-to-face conversations. Remember Kevin Nealon's character Mr. Subliminal (Subliminal Message Man) on SNL - the advertising executive who mumbled subliminal suggestions and commands, inserting them into normal conversation? You could use the same technique to educate Gonzo. (See examples below)




    Gonzo: "I'm late. Gotta go. See ya."
    You: "Late for where? (gold rush 1849)"
    Gonzo: "The party."
    You: "Be home by 10 (Bos-Tea Party 1773) and no drinking! (cotton gin Eli Whitney)."

    You wrote:

    << Who's laughing now? >>

    I'm laughing now, dear friend, and I hope you are, too. Thanks for today's entertainment!

  2. Totally liking the subliminal idea (stealing it). You're so clever (envious)! All I'm saying is we have to educate these kids anyway - might as well raise the bar with everything we do (get a good job so I can live with you when I'm old, son).

    Off to the daily grind of Cherdoland!

  3. You're good. My daughter has recently learned how to imply eye rolling with her texts. I call it progress.

  4. Great job!!! Yeah, you have to sneak learning in. My stepdaughter just rolls her eyes. "It's the weekend. Why do I have to learn?!"

  5. Outstanding. I nominate you to be Queen of the World.



Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo