The teens are getting used to talk to your friends via text messages, either by applications like Whastapp or Facebook chat. In fact, most of today’s teens prefer texting to talking face-to-face on some topics. They think that this way they can express themselves better, but in reality what they are doing is losing important social skills.
More than half of these teens send text messages daily. With texting outstripping other forms of communication, you must ask yourself how this technological change alters the social lives and behavior of teens today and tomorrow.
TEXTING PATTERNS FOR TEENS
The vast majority of teens (and adults too) use the phone to send text messages. That is, they use the terminal more to send messages than to make calls or speak on the phone more directly.
Teens’ thumbs move at lightning speed … It’s amazing to think that one in three teens sends more than 100 messages per day. In general, girls send text messages more frequently than boys , sending and receiving 80 messages per day, whereas male adolescents receive an average of about 30 messages.
Texting means that teens are never alone. Feeling constantly connected with friends can be a social blessing, but 24/7 access and the perception of always being available have their downsides and advantages, especially with a lack of communication.
For example, a teenager may get angry with a friend for not responding immediately and constantly to messages, without taking into account that the absent person may be asleep or doing other things that prevent them from having access to the phone at the time. Incessant contact with friends and obtaining multiple opinions on each topic can affect teens’ decision-making skills as they may feel insecure or unable to think things through on their own and trust their judgment.
MORE SOCIAL EFFECTS
With more teens preferring text to talk , concern is growing about whether this phenomenon stunts emotional growth. The dearth of face-to-face conversations can prevent teens from learning to read facial expressions, body language, or nuances of speech and developing empathy, a skill learned by observing behavior in other people.
Self-confidence can also be eroded by constant contact through text messages, leaving teens overly dependent on their friends and failing to foster a sense of independence.
TEXTING AND RISKY BEHAVIOR
A study published in 2010 by the American Public Health Association reported that hypertext text messages, which are sent more than 120 times a day , can increase the risk of smoking , drinking and using drugs, physical violence and activity sexual. Of the teens surveyed, hypertechists were twice as likely to have experimented with alcohol and three times more likely to have had sex than teens who texted less frequently.
These are just a few of the ways that texting can affect teens. But like everything else, there is no need to put your hands on your head either. Adolescents must learn to make appropriate use of new technologies and be aware that they must not conquer their life. Social skills and face-to-face friendships are and will always be more important than virtual ones.