Goyer added that those oldder than 50 are high adopters of technology, and grandparents are often motivated by their grandchildren to learn how to use new forms of technology — such as texting.
Many grandparents who live miles away from their loved ones have taken to Skype to hear and see their grandkids. With the free software application, a webcam and a high-speed Internet connection, users can talk to and see each other live via the Internet. But many busy teens and 20-somethings say texting is more convenient.
Nancy Lemmon and her 17-year-old grandson, Tyler Moore, aren’t separated by miles. In fact, they live just a few doors from each other in Stow, Ohio. Still, they text regularly to communicate.
Moore is a busy guy. Though technically a student at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, he is taking 18 hours of post-secondary classes at Kent State University and participating in an internship in the psychology department. With those things and other activities, he’s not the easiest guy to get in touch with for a voice conversation.
“They do not want to chat on the phone with their grandmother, or anyone else for that matter. They want to communicate short and sweet," Lemmon explained. “Tyler may respond to me when I ask how he did at Kent this semester. He may let me know he has arrived safely at a destination out of town. He can tell me that he scored the highest grade in his psychology class or he got a 4.0 this semester at school, but the words that warm my heart the most is when he simply texts, ‘I Love You.’"
Sitting in his grandmother’s home, Moore acknowledged the two would go longer periods of time without communicating if it weren’t for texting.
“People don’t talk on the phone that much anymore," he said.
If grandparents can adjust to thinking of texting as a way to bring them closer to their grandchildren, Goyer thinks they will be more willing to adopt it as a method of communication.
“The reality is that tweens, teens and young adults these days use texting as their most common form of communication and if grandparents really want to be in touch they’d better learn to text, even if it’s just the basics," Goyer said.
And Lemmon offered: “Keep on texting, grandmas, and stay in touch. We have to learn the technology in order to savor these important relationships."