Texting May Be Taking a Toll

Posted by Kendall Harmon

They do it late at night when their parents are asleep. They do it in restaurants and while crossing busy streets. They do it in the classroom with their hands behind their back. They do it so much their thumbs hurt.

Spurred by the unlimited texting plans offered by carriers like AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless, American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Nielsen Company — almost 80 messages a day, more than double the average of a year earlier.

The phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians and psychologists, who say it is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation.

Dr. Martin Joffe, a pediatrician in Greenbrae, Calif., recently surveyed students at two local high schools and said he found that many were routinely sending hundreds of texts every day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth

Posted May 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Jeffersonian wrote:

I have four kids, two of which have cell phones, the emphasis on “phones.”  Texting is disabled on all of our phones, much to my kids’ chagrin.  It’s not hard, folks, all you need to do is say “no.”

May 26, 4:20 pm | [comment link]
2. Chris wrote:

good move #1 -I will do the same when my kids are old enough for cell phones.  thus study seems a bit “dog bites man,” huh?

May 26, 5:40 pm | [comment link]
3. Cennydd wrote:

Quite frankly, I see no need for texting…....period!

May 26, 5:59 pm | [comment link]
4. Dallasite wrote:

Cennydd, you are not 14, I take it.  My daughter, who is, texts.  If I call her on her cell phone, she doesn’t answer; if I send her a text, I get a response within minutes.  Like it or not, texting is the medium of choice among many teens. 

It is important, however, to keep tabs on the use, just as we have to monitor television watching or any other electronic addiction.  We restrict access to her when she is doing homework, and she has to turn the phone in to us before she goes to bed, so as to remove the distraction while studying and when she should be asleep.

May 26, 7:08 pm | [comment link]
5. First Family Virginian wrote:

A few weeks ago we had an acolyte receive a text message.  His mother, who was seated in the congregation, was letting him know that his cotta wasn’t pulled down in the back! 

The acolyte was told in no uncertain terms ... an acolyte doesn’t answer cell phones or take text messages white he is serving ... and furthermore he shouldn’t have an electronic device on his person during the service ... unless he prefers not to be an acolyte.

May 26, 10:59 pm | [comment link]
6. William Witt wrote:

There is something amusing about those of us who type in text after text in the comment section of this website and others complaining about teenagers who do the same thing on their cell phones.

May 27, 9:48 am | [comment link]
7. libraryjim wrote:

Well, I remember the same thing being said of teens who spent quarter after quarter after quarter at the game arcades in the 70’s. Then with the Atari and Commodore game platforms.  Then XBox and now texting.

I suppose if we went back far enough we would see the cavemen parents arguing about how painting on the walls of caves was becoming an obsession with their teens.

The key resolution is, of course, parent/child communication and rule-making, placing limits, etc.

Jim Elliott

May 27, 12:43 pm | [comment link]
8. Cennydd wrote:

Our high school bans the use of cell phones during class hours, and that, of course, includes texting.  My 15 year old granddaughter admits to unauthorized texting during her classes, and as a result, her grades suffered, and she now has to attend Summer School in order to bring her grades up to an acceptable standard.  So, yes, texting can cause harm…..though in her case, not physical harm.  Her parents have taken her cell phone away from her, and she doesn’t get it back until she gets home from school each day.  I take her to and from school, and I make sure she doesn’t have it with her.  I have made it clear to her that if she needs to call me, she must go to the school office and use their phone.

May 27, 1:07 pm | [comment link]
9. Cennydd wrote:

And there are NO exceptions to that rule.

May 27, 6:49 pm | [comment link]
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