A new study says that teens who text 120 times a day or more — and there seems to be a lot of them — are more likely to have had sex or used alcohol and drugs than kids who don’t send as many messages.
“The study’s authors aren’t suggesting that “hyper-texting” leads to sex, drinking or drugs, but say it’s startling to see an apparent link between excessive messaging and that kind of risky behavior…”
“The study was done at 20 public high schools in the Cleveland area last year, and is based on confidential paper surveys of more than 4,200 students.”
“It found that about one in five students were hyper-texters and about one in nine are hyper-networkers — those who spend three or more hours a day on Facebook and other social networking websites.”
“About one in 25 fall into both categories.”
“Hyper-texting and hyper-networking were more common among girls, minorities, kids whose parents have less education and students from a single-mother household, the study found.”
“Frank’s study is billed as one of the first studies to look at texting and social networking and whether they are linked to actual sexual intercourse or to other risky behaviors.”
” ‘This study demonstrates that it’s a legitimate question to explore,’ said Douglas Gentile, who runs the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University.”
“The study found those who text at least 120 times a day are nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to have had sex than their peers who don’t text that much. Hyper-texters were also more likely to have been in a physical fight, binge drink, use illegal drugs or take medication without a prescription.”
“Compared to the heavy texters, the hyper-networkers were not as likely to have had sex, but more likely to have been involved in other risky behaviors like drinking or fighting.
So what do you think? Does this relationship between hyper-texting and a greater chance of having sex or doing drugs ring true to you? Do you see this in your own kids?
How much are they texting? Will this make you examine that texting to sex/drugs relationship at home?
Are they hyper-texting because they are social or because they feel pressure to answer when every friend texts them? Why does the extensive texting have to equal something bad? (I’m feeling defensive because I’m pretty sure if I were a teen I would be hyper-texting. I’m pretty chatty!)