Frequent Texting Linked to Shallowness

Teens and young adults who text frequently — such as more than 300 text messages a day — may be risking more than sore thumbs, according to a new study.

“Heavy texters do seem to be a little more materialistic and less concerned about inward growth,” says Paul Trapnell, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. The frequent texting, he says, is ”weakly correlated with traits, goals, and attitudes that indicate low interest and engagement in reflective thought.” Those who texted very frequently were also more concerned about wealth and image than those who did not text as often.

“Although the overall size of the finding is small in absolute terms, the finding was very reliable across several years,” he tells WebMD. So far, they have looked at five years of data.

“If you are habitually pulled into the outside world by distracting media, you may be systematically undermining opportunities to reflect about the moral, social, emotional, and longer-term implications of a situation,” says Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD, assistant professor of psychology, education, and neuroscience at the University of Southern California.

Her advice to parents of younger children who have not yet begun to text? “For healthy development, I think it is essential that we encourage our kids to have free time in which there are no distractions from TV, media, texting, you name it,” she says. This downtime allows kids that crucial time to reflect.

Source: Web MD

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