With today’s advancements in technology, texting has become a necessity of the American teenager for social survival. Teenagers are texting addicts sending and receiving hundreds of texts a day. In addition, text messaging can be a great way for parents and teens to stay connected, but are teens taking it too far?
Many medical professionals and educators are having increasing concerns with texting contributing to distraction in school, lack of sleep, and repetitive stress injuries. While there are no long-term effects yet, many teens complain of thumb aches from the repetitive motion of texting, similar to when computer keyboards were found to cause Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. (Hafner, NY Times)Teachers complain that they cannot afford to waste time each class to police the students’ use of texting. Teens are not paying attention and grades are falling; they are cheating on tests via text and are writing using text slang on papers that are handed in. (Loftis, Techlearning)
My sixteen year old son constantly has his cell phone within reach; he actually sleeps with it inside his pillow case. When I talk to him, I notice that he is not making eye contact. I attribute this to texting affecting teen’s interpersonal skills. Teens’ ability to concentrate and attention spans are becoming smaller and the constant multi tasking that they are doing is unnecessary. They are more worried about the next message than the person sitting in front of them. Elizabeth Berstein’s article “Sorry I’m Late” is about how texting enables poor behavior and lack of courtesy in reference to adults who should know better; after all we are from a generation before any of this technology existed. In one part, Bernstein refers to how a chronically late 52 -year -old woman admits to being 30 minutes late meeting her best friend; her friend was so upset and stated “Your constant lateness makes me feel that you disrespect me.” What about these kids who don’t know any better because this is the way it is for them now?
Another very serious teens and text messaging concern is sex-ting. This is when one person sends another person or persons a provocative message, nude or semi-nude photographs. Often times the recipient of theses messages shares the content with their friends and/or post the pictures on the internet. This leaves the originator of the message in a very embarrassing social situation. Sex-ting can also lead to legal issues for those involved. In Pennsylvania a group of teenage girls’ ages 14-15 sent nude pictures to a group of boys ages 16-17 and now all of them are now facing child pornography charges. In Florida, an 18 -year- old young man is now a registered sex offender after circulating nude photographs of his 16 -year -old girlfriend. (Pew Research, “Teens and Texting”) The Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reports 20% of teens admit to sex-ting and that it “makes them feel more confident” resulting in “ more...