Crazy Teen Trends: Greg, Reina

Extreme Messaging

"When I first saw the bill, I was shocked. I thought, it is not humanly possible to text that amount in one month," says Greg, whose 13-year-old daughter, Reina, had a record 14,528 texts on her cell phone.

 

Reina says she LOLed when she learned about her feat. "I seriously cracked up," she says. "My mom was just, like, 'It's not funny.'"

 

"I was appalled," adds Reina's mom. "I didn't think it was funny at all."

 

[AD]"I immediately texted my friends right after I saw the number. I was like, 'Hey, guess what? I got 14,528 texts,'" the teen says, giggling. "I definitely thought I was in trouble."

 

"After I realized that this wasn't some mistake, I immediately texted her," says Greg. "My first question was, 'What are you, nuts?'"

 

Although Greg was as astounded as his wife that Reina wracked up so many messages, he doesn't see his daughter's texting as a huge issue. "She's communicating with her friends. Should somebody be punished for communicating? I don't think so," he says. "However, this is way out of line."

"Who are you texting?" Dr. Phil asks the teen.

 

"The people who I text the most are definitely CeCe, my best friend," Reina replies. "And mostly a core group of five friends."

 

"I did the math on this," Dr. Phil says. "She sends 484 text messages a day."

 

Dr. Phil turns to his stage manager, Bones, and asks him to take Reina's cell phone backstage. "I want to see if it rings during the show," he says.

 

[AD]The online bill for Reina's cell phone texts was 440 pages long. "You don't pay for that, right?" Dr. Phil asks Greg.

 

"She's on an unlimited plan with her two sisters," he replies. "It's $30 a month."

 

"That's a good deal," Dr. Phil says. "What would it have cost if you would have been on a text-by-text?"

 

"I called the provider, and it was something in the neighborhood of $2,900," Greg answers.

 

Dr. Phil goes over a list of cell phone shorthand that Reina texts to her friends: "WTH" means What the Heck? "Kill-arious" means something so hilarious that it kills. "Cheesy peanut butter" refers to two things, such as an outfit, that are mismatched.

 

[AD]As Reina talks to Dr. Phil, she receives several text messages on her cell phone backstage.

 

"I don't think it's a big deal. The only downside to it is that it does take the place of human interaction. It does take the place of conversation, and relationship-building and the human element," Dr. Phil says. "I wonder if we're going to have a generation that doesn't develop the social skills that they would have if they had to make eye contact and talk to somebody."

 

At the end of the show, Dr. Phil checks in on Reina's cell phone. "You've had eight texts since you've been here," he reveals.

 

Reina's best friend, Cecillia, and her mother, Patrice, join the show via Oovoo, a video chat service. "You've been texting eight times while she was here? What were you saying to her?" Dr. Phil asks Cecillia.

 

"Um, hi," Cecillia says with a giggle.

 

[AD]"Patrice, do you think these girls text too much?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"I didn't know they did until this was brought to my attention, and I saw the bill," she admits. "Their grades are good, and they socialize well, so I'm still on the fence about it."

 

"You girls have fun. Just keep your grades up," Dr. Phil says, reminding them to keep their texts clean.

 

Reina may be the queen of texting, but she's about to meet the king.