Next time you’re sitting in a public place, count the number of people who are using their phones to text. I bet you lose count!
Texting is quickly becoming the #1 form of communication. Good or bad (that’s a topic for another day), it is the truth. This is especially true among preteens. In early 2008, Pew Research Center found that 51% of 12-year olds had cell phones. I can only imagine that this number has increased in the last 4 years.
According to research cited by Common Sense Media, texting is the #2 use for all cell phones behind checking the time! The research also shows that preteens (age 9 to 12) send and average of 1,146 texts per month. That’s more than 37 texts per day!
Texting is changing the way preteens communicate with one another. Should it change the way we communicate with preteens?
Here’s the question that I’ve been mulling over for the last few weeks:
Can text messaging be used constructively in preteen ministry?
I’m interested in hearing from those that have used text messaging in student ministry and/or preteen ministry. I have some concerns about using text messages with 9 to 12 year olds, but I can see value in being able to communicate things like weekly devotions, small group questions, updates about service projects or events, etc.
What do you think? Is text messaging beneficial to preteen ministry or is it a slippery slope that should be avoided?