Thursday, October 27, 2011

Excessive Texting: Top 10 Dangers


Labor ESO Students, 

We give you now the post published today, Thursday 27th October, on High School, the educational supplement at the Huffington Post about the dangers of excessive texting for teenagers' health.

About 75 percent of 12-17 year-olds in America own a cell phone. Half of them send 50 or more text messages a day, and one-third send more than 100 text messages daily. Texting's popular -- but you knew that, of course.
What you might not know are the potential dangers associated with being glued to your phone 24/7 (and we're not just talking accidentally sending "I'm busty" instead of "I'm busy" to your crush... though that counts, too).
Below are the top 10 biggest texting dangers you should be aware of before entering into your next 24-hour texting spree. Or you can click here to watch the slideshare

Text Neck - Unless you hold the phone out directly in front of your face when you text, we all bend our heads down while we stare at the screen. This is especially true when secretly texting under a desk in class. If you do it for more than a few hours a day, this inevitably leads to a sore neck -- or as we like to call it, 'text neck.' Luckily, there's an easy fix: stretching. Click here for some easy stretching tips and a few notes on the best texting posture.

Dirty Hands - We're told to wash our hands when we're in public places -- but how many times have you touched your phone before you pull out the hand sanitizer? Face the facts: your phone is a cess pool of germs.
Don't believe us? U.K. researchers tested 390 cell phones from across the country and found that 16% were contaminated with fecal matter in the form of E. Coli. GROSS.
Luckily, the solution is pretty easy: you can wipe off your phone using disinfectant wipes or using a disinfectant cleaning spray and a paper towel -- just be careful not to spray anything directly on your phone!

Dry Eyes - Similar to how a computer monitor makes your eyes dry, staring (and squinting) at the screen of your phone for too long also causes uncomfortable, dry eyes. One way to minimize eye strain is to increase the font size on your device. You can also keep re-wetting eye drops handy for relief.

Texter's Thumb - "Blackberry thumb" has been recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as a real-life medical condition. It's a feeling of numbness in your thumb -- an inflammation of the tendons -- caused by excessive phone-button-pushing. Yikes.

Anxiety and Insomnia - According to The New York Times, texting can lead to "anxiety... and sleep deprivation." We'll admit it -- that seems a tad dramatic to us. But an MIT psychologist via The Atlantic does make an interesting point: "If something next to you is vibrating every couple of minutes, it makes it very difficult to be in that state of [of peace and quiet] ... So if you're in the middle of a thought, forget it." Possible solution? Try turning on your "silent" function before bed and put your phone in a different room to resist the temptation to check.

Distracted Driving - According to Car and Driver magazine, the braking reaction time of someone who was over the legal blood-alcohol limit is four feet and the braking reaction time of someone sending a text is 70 feet. Scary stuff. And the list of reasons why texting-while-driving is dangerous goes on. So, don't do it. Period. And download a free app for your phone -- like this one -- to help you kick the habit.

Drinking and Smoking - Teenagers sending 120 text messages a day are more likely to drink, smoke and have sex, claims a US doctor. The findings pointed to earlier work which linked heavy internet use to depression.
What do you guys think of this one?

Social Anxiety - Is texting your primary means of communication with friends and family, these days? Two-thirds of texters say they are more likely to use their cell phones to text their friends rather than talk to them. More than half -- 54 percent -- of teens say they text their friends at least once a day, but only 33 percent talk to friends face-to-face daily. According to Dr. Robert Trestman, psychiatrist: "What it can do is reduce the skills that they otherwise need to develop, or interpersonal face-to-face to be able to say difficult things, to build relationships."

Bad Grades - "[Texting] is a huge issue, and it's rampant," said a high school chemistry teacher from California. According to The New York Times, the teacher gave an anonymous survey to 50 of her students and most said they texted during class. Distractions in school can lead to failing grades. This can also be linked to the lack of sleep factor -- if students are staying up late responding to text messages, that doesn't help them have an alert day of learning the next day.

Misinterpretation - Go to, look at every example, and imagine accidentally sending that to your parents. If that's not dangerous... we don't know what is.

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

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