Tuesday, May 26, 2009

411: Texting Taking Toll on Teens

STFU:

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.
ROFLMAO.
Psychologists expect to see teenagers break free from their parents as they grow into autonomous adults, Professor Turkle went on, “but if technology makes something like staying in touch very, very easy, that’s harder to do; now you have adolescents who are texting their mothers 15 times a day, asking things like, ‘Should I get the red shoes or the blue shoes?’ ” As for peace and quiet, she said, “if something next to you is vibrating every couple of minutes, it makes it very difficult to be in that state of mind."
2MI!
Texting may also be taking a toll on teenagers’ thumbs. Annie Wagner, 15, a ninth-grade honor student in Bethesda, Md., used to text on her tiny LG phone as fast as she typed on a regular keyboard. A few months ago, she noticed a painful cramping in her thumbs. (Lately, she has been using the iPhone she got for her 15th birthday, and she says texting is slower and less painful.)
WTF?
Still, some parents are starting to take measures. Greg Hardesty, a reporter in Lake Forest, Calif., said that late last year his 13-year-old daughter, Reina, racked up 14,528 texts in one month. She would keep the phone on after going to bed, switching it to vibrate and waiting for it to light up and signal an incoming message.

Finally, when her grades fell precipitously, her parents confiscated the phone.

Reina’s grades have since improved, and the phone is back in her hands, but her text messages are limited to 5,000 per month — and none between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays.

TSNF!

Yet she said there was an element of hypocrisy in all this: her mother, too, is hooked on the cellphone she carries in her purse.

“She should understand a little better, because she’s always on her iPhone,” Reina said. “But she’s all like, ‘Oh well, I don’t want you texting.’ ”
BFD.

TTFN

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