It never fails, the moment something begins the rollercoaster of popularity the psychologists will come crawling out of the woodwork with study about this is bad for you or that will cause kids to have some sort of ‘problem’. We have seen it happen with regularity when it comes to gaming and of course there is the incessant blathering on about how dangerous the Internet is as a whole and ruining our future generations.
Today sees the groundwork being laid for the next generation of psychological maladies that will affect our children because of the big bad Internet and this odd thing called texting. Yes the simple act of typing messages on cell phones is going to lead our children down a path that leads to anxiety, distraction in school, sleep deprivation and falling grades.
At least this is what Katie Hafner is reporting in a post in today’s New York Times.
Michael Hausauer, a psychotherapist in Oakland, Calif., said teenagers had a “terrific interest in knowing what’s going on in the lives of their peers, coupled with a terrific anxiety about being out of the loop.” For that reason, he said, the rapid rise in texting has potential for great benefit and great harm.
“Texting can be an enormous tool,” he said. “It offers companionship and the promise of connectedness. At the same time, texting can make a youngster feel frightened and overly exposed.”
Not to mention the physical damage kids are doing to themselves with all the key pressing
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.)
Peter W. Johnson, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington, said it was too early to tell whether this kind of stress is damaging. But he added,
“Based on our experiences with computer users, we know intensive repetitive use of the upper extremities can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, so we have some reason to be concerned that too much texting could lead to temporary or permanent damage to the thumbs.”
So now parent you had better start putting away some extra cash in order to pay for the impending therapy your kids are going to need from all this electronic message passing that is going on.