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Communication expert offers tips for teens 'beyond texting'

Debra Fine's new book, 'Beyond Texting' shows teens how to find balance between technology and human interaction.
Debra Fine's new book, 'Beyond Texting' shows teens how to find balance between technology and human interaction.
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

I'd bet my grandmother never would have imagined that sometime in my lifetime we'd need a book to help teens learn how to talk to each other. But, that's where we are.

Most teens today have a smart phone and text fairly regularly, if not constantly. So renowned author and speaking expert Debra Fine has come out with a book to help teens discover life away from technology.

Titled "Beyond Texting: The Fine Art of Face-to-Face Communication for Teenagers," Fine's book offers tips for teens and parents about strengthening relationships with plain old talk.

Fine, Colorado-based former engineer who know works with clients far and wide on communication strategies, said this book is the first of its kind to explain how young people can be both "plugged in" without missing out on the human touch.

"One of the most valuable skills teenagers can learn is the art of interacting and communicating with all various types of people in their lives, including classmates, friends, parents, coaches, teachers, and neighbors, and this book helps them do just that," Fine said.

Specifically, the book covers topics such as: using conversation ice-breakers; asking open-ended questions; ignoring bullies; and respectively interacting with authority figures.

This is Fine's third book in her "Fine Art" book series. She's also published "The Fine Art of Small Talk" and "The Fine Art of Big Talk."

"In this new era of communication, 'Beyond Texting' is an incredibly important book for teens, parents of teens or anyone who sometimes finds himself or herself spending a little bit too much time talking to people on the Internet or via text rather than in-person," she said.

I can only imagine what my grandmother would say to the possibility that teens, and perhaps some parents, may need a book like this.