Texting Addiction – How bad is it? Part 1

She:  “You hang up first.” He: “No, you hang up first!” She: “No, YOU hang up first.”

MoodoffDayTextingWhileDrivingIf you are over 50 years old you might remember that little game teenagers played back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. A boyfriend would call his girlfriend, then after 45 minutes or maybe a couple of hours on the phone, one of their mothers would chide them into hanging up, and the game would begin. Back then parents got upset about the unending phone conversations, but no parent worried that their teenager was lonely because he or she spent too much time on the phone.

Things are the same now, only different. Teenagers (and many adults) still spend a lot of time on the phone, but many don’t talk, they text. According to Experian*, the 18 to 25 year old American Smartphone user will send over 2,200 texts per month and receive another 1,831. That is an average of 134 texts per day received and sent.

Texting has altered the way people, especially young people, communicate. It is fast, fascinating and finger friendly fun. Texting is a cool and compelling way for humans, who naturally crave relationships, to interact with each other. But what impact does addictive texting have on someone?

There is a researcher from a university in Melbourne, Australia who has defined four psychological disorders due to excessive texting. Her name is Jennie Carroll and her classifications are as follows: textaphrenia, textiety, post-traumatic text disorder, and binge texting.**

I don’t know how she defines the various symptoms of her four classifications, but I am certain I have seen many teenagers and some adults suffer from “textiety”, which I assume is a form of anxiety. They get real nervous waiting for a text message so they repeatedly look at their phone. They get even more stressed out if for some reason they are out of their phone’s service area or if someone like a teacher or parent says, “Turn off your cell phone NOW!”

Addictive texting is also dangerous to your physical health. Carpal tunnel in the fingers is one problem already identified in many excessive texters. Migraines and sleep deprivation are also symptoms. Excessive texters feel pressured to reply to texts immediately, regardless of the time of day or night. Placing phones next to their bed or even under their pillow allows them to be awakened by the little beep that alerts them of an incoming text. The result is headaches and sleep deprivation.

You and those around you are in the most danger when you text while you drive. AT & T has been campaigning against texting while driving with this statistic: “More than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting, causing live-changing injuries and deaths.” Who hasn’t been behind a slow-moving car that weaves a bit because the driver is staring at his/her phone?

The questions I want to pose are two: Does texting help or hinder friendships? Does it result in better or worse communications? Some social scientists think it hinders more than it helps because face-to-face interactions are important for the development of meaningful relationships and they cannot be accomplished through fractional sentences, abbreviated words, and three or four-letter acronyms on the screen of a Smartphone.

My pov nxt wk. TTYL!

*The report came out in 2013.

**Source: http://papyrus.greenville.edu/2012/10/thumbs-are-talking-addicted-to-texting/

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