Long gone are the days of sharing love letters, or homework notes on an actual piece of paper in class.
As many students in high school these days have their own laptops to use, the method of communication between pupils has also changed.
And it means they can not only chat to each other during lessons, even when teachers have told them to put their phones away, but cheating on a worksheet has become a whole lot easier as well.
what the media thinks teens like: sexting
what teens actually like: google docs
— dylan (@dylwack) March 18, 2018
Oh wow tell her to follow me and then chat on google docs
— Hikmah (@3_hikmah) January 16, 2019
Flirting on google doc chat >>>>>>
— Neta Guey 🤟🏽 (@Crispy_Cruzito) March 1, 2019
A 15-year-old student told The Atlantic that physical notes are definitely a thing of the past.
“People will just make a new page and talk in different fonts so you know who is who,” the student said. “I had one really good friend, and we were in different homerooms. So we’d email each other a doc and would just chat about whatever was going on.”
Students can use the service’s live-chat function, or take advantage of the edit tool, which allows users to highlight certain phrases or words, then comment on them via a pop-up box.
There has even been a Reddit discussion or two about how students are now communicating in class.
“They blocked Google hangouts at my sister’s school so now they use google docs as a group chat,” one thread was titled in January.
But while most of the chat is generally harmless, parents have been warned that the service can also be miss-used for bullying, according to Bark, an app that parents can use to monitor their child’s phone use.
“They work in tandem to write mean or hurtful things in a shared Google Doc. In other cases, kids create private, digital ‘burn books’ and invite others to contribute while leaving out the teased child,” the post read,” said a blog post.
A group of teens I do not know have accidentally invited me to their google doc, where they are ranking their best friends. pic.twitter.com/Gt6LKAmBPq
— Kate Millard Evarts (@kate_evarts) February 22, 2017
And if it’s not google docs, then there are other online messenger services, like Apple’s version, iMessage.
“We just use iMessage now because most of us have Macs,” an Aussie high school student tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But we used to also use Google Hangouts as well.”
So next time your child or teen sits down to do homework at night, it might be worth a glance or two over their shoulder to see what might be going on in the background.
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