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Text Offender

It was a powerful moment in a gripping live show, and the theater glowed with two lights: a spotlight on the stage’s lone singer, and a bright square beaming from an iPhone in the lap of the teenage girl sitting — and texting — beside me.

Really?

I glanced at the stranger disapprovingly. No reaction. I turned and glared at her. Nothing. When I finally leaned over and whispered, “You need to turn that off now,” she flipped her hair (no, really, she did), emitted an irritated “pssh” sound, and begrudgingly shut it off. Which meant that I could now focus on the show.

Only I didn’t. I spent the third act wondering, as the parent of a soon-to-be-texting tween, how cell phone etiquette is established. Surely there’s a way to teach kids how to use the things for good and not evil … right?

When it comes to setting rules about household chores and thank-you notes, parents have two handy sets of guidelines we can follow: 1) Do what our parents did, or 2) Do the opposite of what our parents did.

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