Dear Kid,

Stop! Put down the phone!

More importantly, put down your thumbs.

Do not text your mother. She might get the idea you're communicating. DearKidLoveMom.comDo not text your mother.

Do not call, Tweet, send a Facebook message, or email.

Do not send a carrier pigeon or smoke signals.

Your mother might get the idea you’re communicating.

When asked a direct question, respond in monosyllables. Even better, respond in emojis. Do not use words. And for heaven’s sake, do not expand on your answer.

Your mother might think you’re communicating.

Do not offer to start a conversation (unless it involves asking for money). Do not give the impression you are open to continuing a conversation (unless it involves asking for money).

Your mother might suspect you’re communicating.

Do not provide details, no matter how meaningless, even when asked. Be vague. Feign ignorance. Use IDK and TBD liberally.

Otherwise, your mother might interpret your actions as communication.

Do not provide information about classes, professors, students, teaching assistants, tutors, or study groups. Do not acknowledge that you have roommates, suite mates, study mates, or mates. Do not provide clues about how you spend your time. Do not comment on the weather. Reply to all inquiries with “It’s fine.”

Otherwise, you might actually be communicating.

Love, Mom