Saturday, April 24, 2010

Newsy: Texting Beats Calling for U.S. Teens

A new study by the Pew Research Center says teen texting beats calling as the new means of communication. But what does that mean for teen communication away from the phone?
In a new report released by the Pew Research Center, not only has texting replaced phone calls as the primary way teenagers connect with friends, but a third of U.S. teens send more than 100 text messages a day. Media outlets are talking how this dependence on text messaging affects teen social skills.
In an interview with NPR, a teacher for a school in Los Angeles, which considered a ban last year, says she worries that texting as has not only had a negative affect on students' grammar, but their ability to talk with their teachers in person as well: "They can get up the courage to ask you for [a deadline] extension on the computer. But they won't come and speak to you face-to-face about it. And that worries me, in terms of their ability — particularly once they get out in the workplace — to interact with people."
An author for the study agrees. Amanda Lenhart tells TechNews Daily the lack of clarity in texting can create trouble among friends: "Teens are clever in thinking about interaction they want to have. Text messaging often causes problems because it is devoid of emotion and tone."
But in the same story, another author for the study says texting works because of its convenience: "Teens can [text] under the radar...your teacher or parents won't really know what you're up to and it doesn't bother people around you."
On CNN, the founder of says getting rid of unlimited text messaging is one of the best ways to minimize addiction: "There is no reason for a kid to have unlimited texting on their plan. I know that it can be more cost affective for parents, but it's sending them the wrong message. So to have them either pay for extra text messages or have a limit on that is really important in teaching them boundaries." 
Another way to decrease teen dependence on text messaging is through a program called It helps parents keep an eye on what their children send and receive through their phones. Investigator Mike Harris tells The Wall Street Journal using this program can control what information is shared.
HARRIS: "There was a young girl, her boyfriend asked her for a naked picture, she said don't show no one, she sent it. He then sent it to his two friends, he said don't show no one. Two weeks later she comes to school, that picture is taped up on her locker."
Reporter: "With the help of Mobile Watchdog, Investigator Mike Harris has helped arrest 26 predators just this year."
HARRIS: "A lot of people might say it's snooping or spying, I call it parenting." 
So do you think teen dependency on text messaging hurts their social skills? And should children under the age of 18 have restrictions placed on them?

For more video on the impact of texting and the increase of in the use of technology check this out:

"Generation Text"
January 23, 2010
A study is highlighting the multimedia lifestyles of America’s kids. While some in the media say it’s no big deal, others are worried.

“Texting and Driving: Your Right or a New Way to Crash”
June 4, 2009
After an increase in U.S. laws banning texting while driving, looks at the dangers of taking your eyes off the road.

“Sexting: ‘Flirting with Felony’”
March 16, 2009
Teens found sending or receiving nude photos of their peers can be charged with possession of child pornography. As legal experts debate the validity of the punishment.

Writer: Victoria Uwumarogie

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

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