A recent study lead by Dr. Scott Frank, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, reveals some interesting results about kids who "hyper-text," or who, on average, send and receive over 120 text messages per day.
The study was done in Cleveland last year, spread out amongst 20 local schools, and included roughly 4,200 students. Frank concluded that kids that text at least 120 times per day are three-and-a-half times more likely to have had sex than their fellow students that don't text as much, and also "more likely to have been in a physical fight, binge drink, use illegal drugs or take medication without a prescription," reported the Associated Press. Dr. Frank's explanation of this is quite simple:
"If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well..."
It all makes perfect sense and should come as no real surprise. The kids who text more are probably texting to line up plans of extracurricular activities. The study doesn't prove that text messaging leads to any of this risky behavior, but that there is definitely a correlation in existence. It is also the first study of its kind, looking into the relation between kids' texting habits and their behavior. The list below sheds a little more light on Frank's study and some interesting results from other text messaging-related studies:
- About one in five students were hyper-texters
- About one in nine are hyper-networkers
- About one in 25 fall into both categories
- 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
- Hyper-texting and hyper-networking were more common among girls, minorities, kids whose parents have less education and students from a single-mother household
- A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that about half of children ages 8 to 18 send text messages on a cell phone in a typical day
- The texters estimated they average 118 texts per day
- Only 14 percent of kids said their parents set rules limiting texting
- A Pew Research Center study found that about one-third of 16- and 17-year-olds send texts while driving
- An Associated Press-MTV poll found that about one-quarter of teenagers have "sexted"
I know I definitely text message too much, but not nearly as much as many of my friends. I couldn't begin to estimate the number of text messages I send or receive on a daily basis. If you ask me, the whole concept of text messaging is being taken too far, but I'd rather text message someone all day than to call them for two minutes. How many text messages to you send in a single day?