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Could texting be the cause of bad behavior?

Some experts believe that texting could be the cause of other bad behaviors in teens. Photo courtesy of Google images

By: Logan O’ Boyle

For years, the main problem that teens have had with texting was caused when they were behind the wheel. However, new studies show that this is not the only problem that results for teenagers and texting. Recent studies prove that teens who spend the majority of their time attached to their cell phone are more likely to participate in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and/or binge drinking than teens who do not use their phones at all times.

Teens that fall into the “hyper-texters” category send over 120 messages per school day. Physician Dr. Scott Frank surveyed 4,000 high school students ranging in ages from 13 to 18. The survey was based on their texting habits. Of the 4,000 students surveyed, about 20 percent met the qualification to be considered a hyper-texter.

Hyper-texters are 40 times more likely to have tried cigarettes, 43 percent more likely to be binge drinkers, 41 percent more likely to have tried illegal drugs and 55 percent more likely to have been involved in a physical fight than teens who are not excessive texters.

Texting is not, however, the only cause to bad behavior. Studies also prove that hyper-networking is a problem for many teenagers. A hyper-networker spends three hours or more online per school day. One out of every ten teenagers falls into the hyper-networking category. Teens who are in fact hyper-networkers prove to be 62 times more likely to try cigarettes, 70 percent more likely to have tried alcohol, 69 percent more likely to become binge drinkers, 84 percent more likely to have tried illegal drugs, and 94 percent more likely to have been involved in a physical fight. “The startling results of this study suggest that when left unchecked, texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous effects on teenagers,” Frank stated in a recent news release.

These things are not the only problems that excessive texting can create in teenagers’ lives and, the study also proves that hyper-texters and hyper-net workers also have a higher ratio for stress, depression, suicide, poor sleep and poor academics.

“This should be a wake-up call for parents to not only help their children stay safe by not texting and driving, but by discouraging excessive use of the cell phone or social websites in general.” The main purpose of the study was not to shut down Facebook or get texting shut off from teenager’s cell phones, but to help teens and their parents become aware of the affects that texting could have on their lives in the future.

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