Texting: The Good, The Bad and The Unconscious
Â Text Messaging: The act of typing and sending a brief, electronic message between two or more mobile phones or portable devices. Sounds harmless, right? Wrong. Did you know that there are more than 1,600,000 text-related accidents each year and 11 daily that result in death? This technological phenomenon is known as being â€œintexticated.â€
The topic of texting has been an ongoing controversy since Nokia first introduced the finger-friendly keyboard in 1992. Now with the introduction of savvy smart phones, the texting controversy continues to escalate. We all know the dangers of texting while driving, but have you ever wondered what kind of damage the simplest text message could be doing to your overall health and even your social status? We did a little research and cracked the code behind your text messaging health.
1. Sleep-Texting: Have you ever woken up to find a slew of text messages to someone at 3am, but have no recollection of the interaction? I definitely have, and so have thousands of other teens and adults in the U.S. Researchers are referring to this as â€œSleep-Textingâ€ â€” a stress-related sleep disorder in which a person sends incoherent text messages several times throughout a single night. Â No wonder our phone bills are so high. So whatâ€™s the real danger here? Increased stress, restlessness, and social awkwardness. Some sleep-texters reported sending several embarrassing text messages to friends, family and even potential mates. Ouch!
2. Sex, Drugs & Rock-N-Roll: According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, cell phone owners between the ages of 18-24 are sending an alarming average of more than 100 text messages per day. Researchers found a correlation between the texting craze and an increase in sexual activity, drinking, and the use of drugs in teens. How can a little text message lead to all of this? Reports show that teens and adults who thrive on social media networking have decreased inhibitions, inaccurate perceptions of risk, and susceptibility which influence them to engage in more risky behaviors. Click here for more information.
3. Impersonal Relationships: Reports show that two-thirds of texting teens prefer to text their friends rather than call or engage in face-to-face interaction. Psychiatrist Dr. Trestman claims that the lack of physical interaction between teens can result in a decrease in social skills. This results in less personal relationships.
4. Academic Performance: Texting and academic performance is a huge issue these days. Â As technology continues to make our lives easier, it also continues to damage our scholarly achievements. This phenomenon is linked to a lack of a quality sleep and the temptation to stay on top of the continuously changing social media, texts, statuses and instant messaging. According to The New York Times, a teacher conducted an anonymous 50 student study on the amount of texting while in her class. She found that her studentsâ€™ constant keyboard chatter was correlated to an increase in failing grades.
5. Dirty Little Fingers: Hereâ€™s a health hazard that you probably never thought of, because itâ€™s awful. U.K. researchers did a study and found that our phones are a close relative of the petri-dish. Yup, cell phones are crawling with nasty, microscopic critters that could seriously damage your health. In their study, scientists tested 399 phones, 16% of which contained E. Coli. (If you donâ€™t know what that is, itâ€™s fecal matter.) Pretty gross, huh?