backtop


Print 57 comment(s) - last by littvay.. on Nov 13 at 4:47 PM


Probably about to go get high, drink some booze, have promiscuous sex, and then get in a fist fight...  (Source: CBC)
Teen texting is very bad (apparently)

As if parents these days didn't have enough to worry about these days with children "whiffing" chocolate and "getting high" off music, a new study claims that texting pretty much is the root of all teenage evil.

A new study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine says that teens who frequently text message are more likely to engage in all sorts of risky behaviors.

Among its findings, teens that text heavily are:
  • Twice likely to have tried alcohol
  • 43 percent more likely to binge drink
  • 40 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes
  • 41 percent more likely to try illegal drugs
  • Three and a half times more likely to have sex
  • 90 percent more likely to have sex with 4 or more partners
  • 55 percent more likely to get in a physical fight
According to the study, giving your kid a cell phone with a text messaging plan is about as bad as letting them go and join a gang.

States Scott Frank, lead researcher on the study, "The startling results of this study suggest that when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers.  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 study based its findings on a survey of the 20 percent of Midwestern teens who reported that they texted heavily.

According to the study heavy social networking -- which approximately 11.5 percent of teens engage in -- is almost as bad.  The hyper-networkers are:
  • 79 percent more likely to have tried alcohol
  • 69 percent more likely to binge drink
  • 62 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes
  • 84 percent more likely to try illegal drugs
  • 69 percent more likely to have sex 
  • 60 percent more likely to have sex with 4 or more partners
  • 94 percent more likely to get in a physical fight
According to another study, the average teen girl sends 80 texts a day, while boys average 30. The definition of "hyper-texting" is sending more than 120 messages per school day. Hyper-networking is defined as spending three or more hours per school day on social networks.

Aside from sex, drugs, booze, and violence studies claim a link between frequent social networking and texting have and increased traffic accidents (though recent studies have also shown texting bans to have had little effect on accident rates).  Other studies have claimed that the behaviors negatively impact children's grammar, while other have indicated that children's grammar was not adversely impacted.

Additionally some older teens who have "sexted" (sent sexually explicit messages or pictures) to their underage girlfriends have been arrested, prosecuted, expelled from school, sent to jail, and registered as sex offenders.

The most recent study's claims certainly sound outlandish, but they might be enough to convince some parents to start requesting their child's text messaging logs -- or take away the cell phone altogether.


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

correction
By kattanna on 11/10/2010 11:26:03 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
A new study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine says that teens who have a pulse are more likely to engage in all sorts of risky behaviors


there, corrected it for you.

PLEASE.. its called being a teenager. being risky by exploring new things and ideas is all part of growing up.




RE: correction
By Spivonious on 11/10/2010 11:35:13 AM , Rating: 5
The real correction:

quote:
"A new study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine says that teens who have friends are more likely to engage in all sorts of risky behaviors."


RE: correction
By Aloonatic on 11/10/2010 11:46:07 AM , Rating: 5
Not sure why you were rated down, as it to me it seems that you are bang on the money.

Kids who send more texts, are probably doing so because the have more friends, and as such are probably more sociable, and as such are probably more likely to be exposed to alcohol, drugs and people who might want to have sex with them etc.

I doubt very much that the simple act of sending a fair amount of text messages makes anyone more likely to do the above, but it is probably a reasonable indicator of how popular and social they are, and texting is just the latest way of being sociable.

Still, don't let that stop people from screaming "wont someone think of the children" and blaming technology for societies ills, which will surely be what many people will do with this "research".


RE: correction
By dubldwn on 11/10/2010 11:56:08 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
States Scott Frank, lead researcher on the study, "The startling results of this study suggest that when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers. 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."

Yep, and how exactly does one become a "lead researcher" and not know the difference between correlation and causation? The idea that texting is causing this behavior is beyond stupid.


RE: correction
By dgingeri on 11/10/2010 12:05:19 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
how exactly does one become a "lead researcher" and not know the difference between correlation and causation?


government grants from friends in the government


RE: correction
By curryj02 on 11/10/2010 1:29:36 PM , Rating: 3
LOL... 'Friends' in the government which he met while engaging in 'sociable' activities which of course did not *cough* include anything like binge drinking, taking illegal drugs, or having sex...

References that government officials NEVER engage in such social activity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpBzQI_7ez8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiIP_KDQmXs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdeCl1ZDYwo


RE: correction
By kerpwnt on 11/10/2010 1:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...claims that texting pretty much is the root of all teenage evil.

I'm not one to harp on writers, but that is horrible paraphrasing.

This next quote is from the APHA site (there's a link to it in the article):
quote:
Identify demographic characteristics of teens involved with hyper-texting and hyper-networking

The paper is not is not claiming that texting is the cause of risky behavior. Only that those teens who participate in the stated behaviors might also text/social network excessively.


RE: correction
By dubldwn on 11/10/2010 1:41:12 PM , Rating: 4
From CNN:
quote:
He [Frank] also cautioned, however, that the study "does not demonstrate cause and effect." "We are not saying texting causes these behaviors," he stressed. "We can recognize that these kinds of connections ... may be facilitating or enabling these kinds of behaviors, but we certainly can't think of (the online connections) as causing them."

This seems mutually exclusive with the previous statement...
quote:
when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers.

...and should have been included in the article, as it implies causation, which is what everyone is talking about.
quote:
Only that those teens who participate in the stated behaviors might also text/social network excessively.

That obvious correlation is not a "startling result."


RE: correction
By foolsgambit11 on 11/10/2010 2:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like Scott Frank made one statement with his scientist hat on (correlation != causation) and another statement with his sensationalize-results-to-get-additional-fame-and-f unding hat on (zomg!!! texting is evol!).

As speculation, though, I agree with the previous poster's hypothesis that texting/social network use is at least a fairly accurate barometer of popularity in high school, and that popularity in high school has fairly strong correlation to these risky behaviors. As a solution for parents, I say, let your kids text as much as they want, but make them wear Hammer pants and bedazzled jean vests to school. That should serve as an adequate antidote.


RE: correction
By Fracture on 11/11/2010 2:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the causation isn't implied, but really the behaviors are extremely related because of the type of person likely to engage in them, ie the popularity-is-all-that-matters crowd.


RE: correction
By False Profit on 11/10/2010 6:03:56 PM , Rating: 3
I have to disagree with what seems to be the general sentiment here. Texting itself does not lead to an increase in these activities, but the increase in the essential nature of what texting is does.

Texting is communication. More importantly, it's unmonitored and instant. The greater our ability to communicate, the faster we break down the social, mental, and psychological walls between us. As an example, let me presume that it would take 5 encounters to convince a teen to drink alchohol, or that he would have to know that at least half his friends were doing it. Thirty years ago, he might not have the opportunity to get away from his parents and have those encounters. Ten years ago, that might have taken years. With all the methods of communication open to teens today, that could take days.

There definitely could (and probably is) an increase in all the things suggested by the researchers that proportionally grows with the increase in unmonitored communication of teenagers (and adults, just no one tries to police us ;-).


RE: correction
By clovell on 11/10/2010 12:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
You're confusing correlation with causation. Kids who text this much have a greater need to be socially included, which magnifies the feelings of peer pressure. It can become an addictive behavior if left unchecked, just as any other.


RE: correction
By Aloonatic on 11/11/2010 8:56:32 AM , Rating: 2
You seem to be confusing "correction", which is the word used in this thread, with correlation :o)

By the way, almost everyone, other than loan wolf, cabin/cave dwelling wierdoes perhaps, have a "need" to be socially included, as human beings are are social animals.


RE: correction
By clovell on 11/11/2010 5:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not confusing anything with anything. The researcher made a mistake, and everyone seems quick to pat themselves on the back for catching it and toss out data that actually has value.

By the way, I'm versed in human behavior; I am one. I'm also familiar with addiction and peer pressure, and I'm objective enough to step beck and have a look at the bigger picture that most posters have missed.

But let me take this opportunity to address the general level of asshattery I see daily in these comments. Don't take it personally - I'm not going to speak specifically about you.

The idea that researchers spend months writing grants, years conducting research, more months analyzing it, and even more months writing up the results, only to be distilled and taken out of context a year later when the paper finally, after several abridgments and revisions, is released and the AP runs a two-page story on a 24-page journal article, only to have a 'tech-blogger' on the internet slash it down to an easily digestible by a fifth grader 4-6 paragraphs so that DT readers can wave it off as another "LOL-WASTE OF MONEY - WE ALL ALREADY KNEW THAT" because, although never formally studied, the results seem to match what they would derive as hypotheses without thinking based on their own limited anecdotal experience -

is
just
fucking
retarded.

Ironic how many people bitch about Jason Mick and his article, when quite honestly - the entire readership here is basically an insult to Mick's level of writing. If you want more from your writers, then grow up and act like you can handle it.


RE: correction
By erple2 on 11/12/2010 12:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm somewhat baffled why you were downrated.

Ultimately, while "everyone knows" something, nobody knows anything, but they think that they do. Studies like this show that what "everyone knows" is actually the case, not just some ludicrous rumor that floats around. I suppose I would liken it to "everyone knows that person is guilty, we should just incarcerate them" being not really true. Mob mentality is the rule, I suppose.

The important thing that this study shows is that there is a correlation between substantial texting and risky behaviors. While "everyone knows" that to be the case, now you can actually say everyone now knows that to be the case, without the "nudge nudge" part. BTW, I think the research was "obvious", but I appreciate the proof to back up the hypothesis.


RE: correction
By Aloonatic on 11/12/2010 5:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
They were instantly rated down for swearing, and could also do with chilin' out a little too perhaps :o)


RE: correction
By kattanna on 11/10/2010 12:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
LOL yep !

i'd only worry if the kid doesnt have any at all, or way too many, both extremes can be unhealthy.

and i mean real flesh and blood friends, not facebook "friends" LOL


RE: correction
By robert5c on 11/10/2010 11:40:43 AM , Rating: 3
yup,

if you text a lot its a sign that your social and out in public more then someone who is well, not

therefore obviously your have a better chance to do all those things listed int his article

it has nothing to do with texting, texting didn't cause any of it, its just more exposure vs less exposure. not a cause and affect of owning a cell phone


RE: correction
By quiksilvr on 11/10/2010 12:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
RE: correction
By clovell on 11/10/2010 12:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that AND, it means that the teenagers are more accustomed to feeling included and thus more susceptible to peer pressure, which they experience more often.


RE: correction
By walk2k on 11/10/2010 12:21:58 PM , Rating: 1
I am shocked at this shocking new development!


RE: correction
By rudeboouuy on 11/10/2010 4:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they should re-do this study and factor in if the kids are popular or losers. Generally losers have no friends - hence no texts and little to no exposure to drugs and absolutely no exposure to sex LOL


Translation
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/10/2010 11:36:45 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
According to the study heavy social networking -- which approximately 11.5 percent of teens engage in -- is almost as bad. The hyper-networkers are:
79 percent more likely to have tried alcohol
69 percent more likely to binge drink
62 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes
84 percent more likely to try illegal drugs
69 percent more likely to have sex
60 percent more likely to have sex with 4 or more partners
94 percent more likely to get in a physical fight

So in other words:

1) Teens who show signs of addiction (and lack of parental guidance/intervention) are more likely to also be addicted to other things

2) Teens who are self-absorbed enough to take social networks seriously are also more likely to be overemotional douches who cause physical confrontations.




RE: Translation
By Nutzo on 11/10/2010 12:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So in other words:
1) Teens who show signs of addiction (and lack of parental guidance/intervention) are more likely to also be addicted to other things

2) Teens who are self-absorbed enough to take social networks seriously are also more likely to be overemotional douches who cause physical confrontations.


Heavy social networking, drinking, smoking, fighting, sex, all has the same cause. Teens think they will "fit in" and be cool/accepted if they do it. Teens that don't give in to peer presure will avoid most of it.


RE: Translation
By clovell on 11/10/2010 12:20:40 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly, and teens who constantly feel the need to be connected to their social group will feel more peer pressure, and be exposed to it more often.


RE: Translation
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/10/2010 12:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
Good point.


parenting issue
By undummy on 11/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: parenting issue
By wempa on 11/10/2010 3:34:02 PM , Rating: 3
... kinda like the movie "Idiocracy"


RE: parenting issue
By FITCamaro on 11/11/2010 9:39:20 AM , Rating: 2
Was pretty prophetic huh? Just got the timing wrong. It's not going to take 100 years.


RE: parenting issue
By FITCamaro on 11/11/2010 9:39:49 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry. 500 years.


This just in...
By DarthKaos on 11/10/2010 1:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
...children who have parents that allow them to send 120 texts a day or be on social networking sites for 3 hours a day are more likely to engage in activities that are less than ideal. I bet if we take the cell phone away and take the social networks away but still allow these kids to be unsupervised doing whatever they want for the same amount of time we may just get the same results.

Really the study boils down to kids that are not getting enough attention from their parents are more likely to engage in all of these poor life choices.




RE: This just in...
By cjohnson2136 on 11/10/2010 1:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree with the 3 hours or so on facebook or something like that. But 120 messages really is not that hard to do in a day. My wife is 21 and can send 120 no problem and we still have lots of time together. A text can take from 5-30(very long text) secs depending on length whih means for 120 you are looking at 10min-60min in the entire day. My mom talked about how she would spend an hour or two on the phone with her friends when she was younger. So this is really no different.

I do agree wthe problem comes when they are on facebook or myspace for like 5-7 hours a day. That is a huge time waste.


RE: This just in...
By LowestCommon on 11/11/2010 12:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is a huge time waste.


Time enjoyed is never time wasted.


BREAKING NEWS!
By rudolphna on 11/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By shiftypy on 11/11/2010 6:33:57 AM , Rating: 2
now this is comical and incorrect use of percentage to bring an exaggerated point

but really, 94% more likely to engage in a fight? If 1 in 1000 had a fight in control group and 2 in 1000 in "hyper-facebook" group, we have a 100% MORE FIGHTING!

I think percentages are skewed because of small numbers. No mention about average participation in those activities. is it 50% with 4 sexual partners or 0.05%? Makes a difference


RE: BREAKING NEWS!
By shiftypy on 11/11/2010 6:35:37 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that number 94% will inevitably leave an impression that 94% of hyper-trwitter group are WWF hurtbringing maniacs.


Correlation != Causation
By VahnTitrio on 11/10/2010 11:38:19 AM , Rating: 2
Those with more friends will have easier access to all of those things. And those with more friends will also send more text messages.

Should I conduct a new study that says having friends leads to drugs, sex, and alcohol abuse?




RE: Correlation != Causation
By Devilpapaya on 11/10/2010 1:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
This.

In the immortal words of John Stewart "Its like looking at all the fat people coming out of weight watchers and asking 'damn, what are they feeding them in there!'"


caption
By zinfamous on 11/10/2010 1:19:48 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Probably about to go get high, drink some booze, have promiscuous sex, and then get in a fist fight ...


so, I totally read that last part differently.




Riiiight...
By MeesterNid on 11/10/2010 11:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
"...might be enough to convince some parents to start requesting their child's text messaging logs -- or take away the cell phone altogether."

If those parents need a study to make them want to do that instead of discerning that on their own then they will do nothing, because they don't care enough or aren't involved in their kids' lives enough to know what they are doing!

Here is an alternative...make your kids pay their cell phone bill by getting a job. This will also have the side benefits of cutting down on their doing drugs, getting in fights, being promiscuous because they wouln't have time for it!




Maybe it's something far simpler
By monitorjbl on 11/10/2010 11:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe all the cool kids have cell phones now, and the ones that don't are just losers? It's been a few years since high school, but I'm pretty sure the cool kids have more sex, do more drugs, and engage in much riskier behavior than the non-cool kids that stay home and do less interesting stuff.

I feel like I should be getting paid to come up with less terrible conclusions than whatever researcher did this.




By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/10/2010 12:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
This seems like a classic case of correlation being confused with causation, as all the posts have pointed out.

Higher ice cream sales are correlated with higher crime rates, but there is no causation. Just more crimes are committed in warmer weather, which is when ice cream sales are higher.

The upshot is that if you take the phone away, the kids no longer exhibit indicia, but that doesn't mean you have stopped any behaviors.




Not Surprising
By clovell on 11/10/2010 12:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, is it? I mean, let's think about this. Teens who text this much are constantly in contact with their peer group. It only makes sense that they are under peer pressure more often, and, by extension, will give in to it more often.

It's indicative of the need to feel constantly 'plugged in' - a sort of addictive behavior. Some will call it extraversion, and maybe in some respects that's what it is. Regardless, teens (or anyone for that matter), who commit to this level of communication as a daily ritual often require that social connection - a connection that is put in jeopardy by peer pressure (especially for impressionable teens).

Thus, it's not really surprising, but good to know the findings of this study.




I knew it!
By MastermindX on 11/10/2010 12:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Three and a half times more likely to have sex


quote:
90 percent more likely to have sex with 4 or more partners


I knew I should have texted more in high school. Good thing those stats doesn't apply to college!




oh, snap
By spamreader1 on 11/10/2010 1:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
If you have a social life you're going to be more likely to be social...omgwtfbbq




Easy fix...
By jarman on 11/10/2010 1:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
If parents really want to curb this behavior, don't buy your kid a mobile phone. If they want one, they can get a job to pay for it. Having a job (20hr/week minimum) would go a long way towards minimizing the amount of time kids waste on their mobile devices.




Covert comms promote risk?
By Wererat on 11/10/2010 1:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
I think anyone who has engaged in IRC, a BBS discussion, or even a thread like this one knows that people will do or say things when safely anonymous that they wouldn't otherwise.

In my experience the same is true of text/facebook chatter; when people have the ability to privately communicate, they facilitate organizing behavior that they prefer to keep private from others.

That's true whether the person is 14 or 64.




By BigBitch on 11/10/2010 2:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
This is absolutely ludicrous! Teens who "text alot" are considered being social. Even though its through electronic communications, it's still the same thing. They're being social, and by doing that they're going to be introduced into these types of things.
They talk to their friends, weekend or an event comes up, they go out and can get associated with the wrong crowd. Teenagers are carious beings, who are willing to explore.

Comparing this to teenagers who don't text that often. They're probably more introverted, not socializing as often as others.

If they "weed out texting", they think they can cure these problems. So teenagers will still socialize, and they will still go to parties or events. And they will still be introduced to sexual or illegal activities. Even drinking, and smoking pot.

These researchers need to find something better to do with their limited knowledge.




Correlation ? Causation!
By titanmiller on 11/10/2010 4:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
I know it's already been said numerous times, but, Correlation ? Causation!




Meaningless study
By mindless1 on 11/10/2010 7:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
Teens who have higher levels of social/communication skills are merely more likely to ADMIT to doing these things.

However, there is some truth in the notion that if you are too poor to afford a lot of texting or a cell phone in general, you probably don't have quite the means to engage in other things equally.

Plus, if you can't contact people how are you going to hook up for your crack whore boozathon?




By doradhorror on 11/10/2010 10:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Teenagers who are more social are now even more social because texting makes socializing much more convenient. Now you can have like 5 conversations anywhere using your phone to text people with im or sms. Most teenagers are stupid in believing "because I am a teenager, I am allowed to do stupid stuff"




TEXTING IS TROUBLE
By invidious on 11/10/2010 11:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
This just in: correlation now equals causality. Proven 100% by this amazing study. All of our worst fears and assumptions are correct, even the ones that contradict each other.




So...huh
By cruisin3style on 11/11/2010 12:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
Having more friends meaning you text or social network more "heavily" means you have more chances of being introduced to alcohol or drugs, or to have sex with those friends?

That's a headscratcher...

or...wait... Over 9000?!?!?!?!?




Insane
By littvay on 11/13/2010 4:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. This is by far the worst scientific crap I've seen reported on at this website. Let me translate the findings. Teens with a social life have a social life. Solution: take away their texting plan or cell phone. Amazing. Give them a Noble Prize!!

What they found is also known as a spurious correlation in scientific circles. I went to the source to confirm. Control variables only included demographics. The true mechanism here is having a social life. Put a control variable in the logistic regression for number of friends and all these relationships will vanish like they never existed.




Peer review?
By littvay on 11/13/2010 4:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
Just reading the comments now... this made CNN? Ridiculous. I figured I'll go find the study but it turns out it is a conference paper. That means it hasn't even been peer reviewed. That makes more sense now. Shame on all journalists who picked this garbage up.




Young guy here
By cjohnson2136 on 11/10/2010 12:56:48 PM , Rating: 1
ok so im 21 but my senior year in high school i could send about 150 texts a day no problem and that was only to a small handful of people. That many texts is really not hard to pull off considering some texts consisent of "k" or "yes" I do not understand why people think that over 100 messages a day is a lot. What do you all think that 100 messages might be equal to say 30min to 1 hour on the actually phone talking. I would be more worried if the kid was talking on the phone for 5 to 6 hours a day instead of 100 messages a day.

I agree with what people have said above correlation != causation. Just because there is an increase in the number of pools bought in a town and an increase in fire does not mean that people who buy pools also tart house fires. These studies are done because people think there is something wrong with kids for not going outside as much which i think technology has just provided a new way for teens to communicate.

Now I have to play devil's advocate (meaning i dont agree) but what if increase of texting allows for increase of planning to do drugs or drinking. If you think about it 20 years ago to have a big party it would take a lot of talking up at school now a days it takes a few mass text messages taking all of about 5 min to invite half the school. So it could be that texting has not changed teens at all it just simply allows them better planning then our parents.




Wow!
By Ammohunt on 11/10/2010 2:13:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
90 percent more likely to have sex with 4 or more partners


For some reason I read this to be 4 partners at the same time; thinking man how times have changed!




"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki