IS it just me, or should teenagers be allowed to send and receive text messages into the early hours of the morning?
My husband thinks it’s fine – “she’s 17, that’s what they do”, he says. I don’t agree. Result: major row that spilled over from my daughter’s bedroom to the drive outside, when she grabbed my car keys and locked herself in my car.
“I’ll give you the keys when you give me back my phone!” she screamed. I’m surprised my neighbours, for all their tolerance over years of flare-ups, didn’t call the noise police.
Modern technology is playing an increasing role in family discord, a survey has revealed, with mobile phone bills and unmonitored internet use among the top ten causes of conflict in families.
I’ll say. It is responsible for around 80 per cent of rows in our house. Most centre around incessant texting, particularly when we are watching TV. I find the constant jabbing and buzzing irritating to say the least.
Texting well into the night is another bugbear. It’s been proven that having such devices beside you at night deprives people of sleep and can lead to anxiety and even mental illness. But whatever I say falls on deaf ears.
I mourn the days when I could put my daughters to bed and look in 20 minutes later to find them fast asleep. Now they go to bed at 10.30 or 11pm, the eldest half way into a nine-hour text fest.
I don’t have a problem with bills as both my children are on pay-as-you-go – but that causes discord. “All my friends are on contract, and their parents pay,” one keeps reminding us.
Excessive internet use is up there in the top ten family arguments. In our house, the internet also causes friction, though it’s more about failing to turn off the wireless device at the end of the day.
British families argue at least four times a week over trivial things, that turn into major rows. Age-old problems such as washing-up feature on the list too. No matter how many lectures my husband and I give our daughters, we still come from work at 7.30pm to find dirty breakfast, lunch and tea bowls.
Housework and laundry is another cause of arguments.
But rows over modern technology are more explosive than any others. So much so that I’m thinking of moving to somewhere with no signal.