Addiction in texting among teenager..
Common Sense Media, released a study, Do Smart Phones = Smart Kids? that helps
put some numbers around the anecdotal evidence that kids love cell phones and use
them differently than most adults. The fact that 83% of 17 year-olds owns a mobile
phone was not surprising; the fact that they send or receive an average of 3,146 text
messages a month was.
It will be interesting to check back with these students after they enter college and/or
the workplace and see if this phenomenon persists. I’ve been hearing for years now
that “email is dead and only for old fogies”… but often wondered if the choice of
technology is dictated more by financial constraints and peer group than by age
Besides lots of good information regarding creative uses of cell phones in the
classroom, and recommendations for parents, teachers, and policy makers, the
authors of the study also reported some interesting findings that seem to explain why
younger students are so enamored with texting:
Texting is cheap. While all students would love a smart phone, most have to settle for
a plain vanilla cell phone for economic reasons. Also, voice minutes are often shared
by the entire family, whereas (at least after that first shocking phone bill hits the
mailbox) most plans offer a flat rate all you-can-eat text option.
Mobile email or IM isn’t an option. With no smart phone, email or IM is something
that has to be conducted on the family computer… a shared resource with restricted
mobility that is far from private. Families report children sitting in the backseat of
the family car texting each other just so mom and dad can’t hear the conversation.
Texting is a social activity. Texting picks up for girls around 11 or 12, and when boys
get their first girlfriend. The study’s authors compare most text content to be more a
“tap on the shoulder” than significant conversation. It is a way of feeling close to your
friends, a part of the group, more like passing a note in class or making plans to meet
after school. Yet the rate of texting is so high because it often creates an ongoing
dialogue with a great deal of sending and receiving before it is complete.
Other than the possible injury to their respective thumbs, the report is largely
reassuring that texting is simply a new form of relieving teen angst that recalls teens
of another generation sprawled across their beds with their doors tightly closed
speaking for hours on their princess phone.
Those rich kids that got their own phone lines are now the kids who have the smart
phones! It also means that texting may carry over into adulthood to a limited
degree… but I still find myself asking myself, “Why don’t I just call them?”
The Negative Effects of Text Messaging
Put the Phone in Your Pocket
Text messaging was intended to be a good thing. After all, it's quick, relatively cheap, and private.
On a train for instance, text messaging isn't nearly as annoying as talking on your cell phone.
However, there is enough negative to text messaging that it warrants pointing it out.
The most important negative to text messaging in my opinion is a safety issue. Many states have
made talking on a cell phone without a the use of a head set while driving a phone illegal. The fine
can be hefty, as it should be. My own son had two pretty bad car accidents due to talking on the
phone while driving. In one he escaped unharmed but the car was totally destroyed and he was
extremely lucky. To be honest, I believe that text messaging while driving a car is even more
dangerous than talking on the cell phone. If you think about how often a text messenger looks at
his or her phone during the exchanges back in forth, I think you'll see my point about the danger.
We all know that taking your eyes off the road is probably the most dangerous thing you can do
while driving a car.
Another negative to text messaging is that it's so impersonal. Unfortunately, some people carry it
to such an extreme that it takes the place of other contact such as the phone or in- person
conversation. I personally know people who have so totally misunderstood the messages the
have received that they have gotten lost, arrived at the wrong time, been angry unnecessarily, and
even broken up over text messages. The problem seems to be that you can't see the face of the
person who is text messaging you nor can you hear the tone in their voice.
Teenagers will text message during class or try to get away with it because they set their phone on
silent or vibrate and believe the teacher won't detect what is going on. What is going on anyway?
That's hard to say but a good guess would be it isn't good. First of all, they aren't paying attention
in class or doing classwork. Secondly, they could be cheating. Thirdly, they could be simply
making social plans but for certain they are being rude to the teacher.
Being rude? You know how annoying it is to be out to dinner with someone who takes every cell
phone call they receive during dinner? Text messaging isn't anymore polite in my opinion. The
point is, it still requires a lack of attention to what is going on around you, specifically in this case
the conversation you are having with your date, your boss, your spouse or child.
There is no excuse for rude social behavior. Text messaging has become so rampant that it has
become another negative thing to do while in a social or business situation.
I'm not suggesting to never text message. I am suggesting that it isn't necessary to text constantly
and in situations that are dangerous, rude or risky. Put the phone in your pocket and keep it there
once in a while. You'll not only live, you will enjoy the company of others more often.
Texting & Its Positive Impact on Teens
by Alissa Fleck, Demand Media
While texting may seem like nothing more than another distraction for our fast-paced youth,
it turns out this rapid means of communication may be more than just a nuisance. Researchers
have found there are actually positive effects of texting for teens, from improved language
skills to emotional relief, and even added benefits for the especially introverted teen.
A study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology in 2010 found texting
could positively impact reading and language development. Contrary to the notion that
texting could be detrimental to teen literacy, the study found the use of text-speak, or
language specific to text messages, was positively correlated with reading ability. The study
also noted the use of this text-speak did not carry over to misspellings in academic work and
posited the fun associated with texting for young people contributes to greater literacy simply
because it encourages teens to interact and engage with the written word.
A study conducted by Israeli researchers and published in "Computers in Human Behavior"
found when communicating digitally, teens who begin chatting in a distressed state often
experience a reduction in negative moods after talking with a friend. The study reveals teens
who regularly text—or converse via the similar instant message—may experience emotional
relief and even strengthen their bonds with friends in a way that is supplementary to inperson relationships. They may feel more comfortable opening up with the greater sense of
comfort and anonymity this digital barrier provides.
"TIME" magazine offers that texting and other means of electronic communication have
positive effects for introverted teenagers. It allows teens who are overwhelmed with thoughts
and emotions, but not the most socially savvy, to get straight to the point with friends without
having to make uncomfortable small talk or converse in large groups, which may be an
additional source of discomfort for the introverted teen. Teens surveyed by the NYU Child
Study Center noted they were able to use text messaging to talk to their friends about
everything. Texting allows teenagers to say things they might be uncomfortable bringing up
in person, helping introverts better reach out to others and express themselves.
Just One Piece
While Amanda Klein of The Huffington Post notes texting can have positive impacts on
maintaining relationships, she explains texting is best when used in conjunction with other
forms of communication, including face-to-face interactions. Text messaging alone allows
people to relay information quickly and make and document basic plans. When texting is
implemented alongside in-person socializing, relationships remain more grounded in reality.
Teens can use texting to further develop and sustain relationships that already exist.