Thursday, August 4, 2011

3,146 Text Messages A Month

Teenage Texting Addiction

Common Sense Media, released a study, Do Smart Phones = Smart Kids? that helps put some numbers around the anecdotal evidence that kids love cell phones and use them differently than most adults. The fact that 83% of 17 year-olds owns a mobile phone was not surprising; the fact that they send or receive an average of 3,146 text messages a month was.

It will be interesting to check back with these students after they enter college and/or the workplace and see if this phenomenon persists. I’ve been hearing for years now that “email is dead and only for old fogies”… but often wondered if the choice of technology is dictated more by financial constraints and peer group than by age alone.

Besides lots of good information regarding creative uses of cell phones in the classroom, and recommendations for parents, teachers, and policy makers, the authors of the study also reported some interesting findings that seem to explain why younger students are so enamored with texting:

Texting is cheap. While all students would love a smart phone, most have to settle for a plain vanilla cell phone for economic reasons. Also, voice minutes are often shared by the entire family, whereas (at least after that first shocking phone bill hits the mailbox) most plans offer a flat rate all you-can-eat text option.

Mobile email or IM isn’t an option. With no smart phone, email or IM is something that has to be conducted on the family computer… a shared resource with restricted mobility that is far from private. Families report children sitting in the backseat of the family car texting each other just so mom and dad can’t hear the conversation.

Texting is a social activity. Texting picks up for girls around 11 or 12, and when boys get their first girlfriend. The study’s authors compare most text content to be more a “tap on the shoulder” than significant conversation. It is a way of feeling close to your friends, a part of the group, more like passing a note in class or making plans to meet after school. Yet the rate of texting is so high because it often creates an ongoing dialogue with a great deal of sending and receiving before it is complete.

Other than the possible injury to their respective thumbs, the report is largely reassuring that texting is simply a new form of relieving teen angst that recalls teens of another generation sprawled across their beds with their doors tightly closed speaking for hours on their princess phone.

Those rich kids that got their own phone lines are now the kids who have the smart phones! It also means that texting may carry over into adulthood to a limited degree… but I still find myself asking myself, “Why don’t I just call them?”

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Teen Texting Addiction

Teen Texting Addiction

Texting has become the preferred mode of communication for teens, but is it really an addiction?

“I think that it’s just like a drug. Once you get hooked onto it you cannot let go. It’s like whenever I open my eyes, the first thing I look at is my phone,” said teen Hermine Vardanian.

Teenage Girls Texting

The average teen sends 3,000 texts a month. “What they like to do is text rather than talk, so if you call them, they go ‘Mom, why don’t you just text me? Why’d you have to call me?” said mother Cara Steinberg.

Eighty-percent of all kids own a cell phone and the rate of texting has skyrocketed 600-percent in three years. “It clearly fits the criteria of an addiction,” said Dr. Gary Small.

Psychiatrist Dr. Gary Small, author of “iBrain: Surviving The Technological Alteration Of The Modern Mind,” said neuroimaging studies have shown teens who text light up the same area of the brain as an addict who uses heroin.

“In a very primitive part of the brain, the dopamine system gets triggered. That’s the general reward system in our brain,” he said.

What about teens and sleep disorders, because it seems that most teens are sleep deprived? Some of it is because school schedules for teens just don’t match up with their normal bio-rhythms.

In fact some education experts say we should move high-school start times later in the morning, but Dr. Gomez visited one sleep clinic that found many teens are sleep-deprived because they’re texting when mom and dad think they’re sleeping.

So if your teen is always tired, check to see if they’re texting under the covers or when you’re asleep.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Textaphrenia– SMS Text Addiction Among Teens

Teen Texting Addiction

It seems to be quite normal for teenagers to keep checking their cell phones for text messages but very few of them are aware that this normal habit has turned into an addiction known as Textaphrenia. Number of text addicts is rising very fast.

Boost Mobile has released some figures which clearly indicate that text messaging has increased by 89% in the last two years. In fact text addiction is just a part of cell phone addiction which is not a new phenomenon. Students and teenagers feel anxious when their cell phones are not in their hands.

Texting Teen

A recent study by Jennie Carroll from RMIT University, Melbourne suggests that mobile phones have been meshed into teenagers’ lives. The immediate physical effect of text addiction is repetitive strain injury. The lubricating fluid between the tendons, shoulders and wrists dries out if we keep texting most of the time. As teenagers find texting easier and economical than making a call, text addiction is more common among teens.

Apart from the physical injury, texting causes many other types of addictions.

Textaphrenia- Thinking that a message has arrived when it hasn’t actually arrived. If you keep checking your cell phone for new messages without hearing a beep or tone, chances are that you are suffering from Textaphrenia

Textiety – Carroll’s study defines Textiety as a feeling of not receiving or sending text messages.

Binge Texting- When teenagers keep sending multiple messages to feel good about themselves, they are said to be suffering from Binge Texting. Carroll explains that it happens when teenagers feel that they have been left out of the loop therefore they attract attention by sending messages.

She further says that there are several other disorders that are caused by repetitive texting. There are some reports of growing “Monster Thumbs” because of excessive texting. Repetitive Thumb Syndrome, depression, low self esteem and anxiety are some of the other ill effects of text addiction.

Surprisingly there are people who believe that there is no such thing as text addition. Did anyone know that cocaine or marijuana were addictive until people started getting addicted to them? Similarly text addiction is in the initial stages now.

The sooner we start quitting this addiction the better.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Text Addiction Leaves Thumbs Numb

Teen Texting Addiction

People who feel moody, irritable and unwell when separated from their mobile phone may need to consider checking into The Priory for treatment.

The Roehampton clinic - most famous for de-toxing alcohol and drug addicted celebrities - has this week reported a rise in addictions to text messaging.

This latest phenomenon forms part of a wider increase in the number of 'behavioural' addictions affecting people in the UK.

Head of The Priory's addiction unit, Dr Mark Collins, said some clients were texting for up to seven hours a day.

One had developed repetitive strain injury due to constant messaging.


Dr Collins said there had been a noticeable rise in these kinds of addictions, many involving text messaging, in the last 18 months.

Others included addictions to sex, shopping and spread betting.

The clinic has a dedicated section on technology addictions on its website, which says there is a growing belief that a number of behaviours can be potentially addictive.

Text Message Addiction

Surfing the web, playing computer games and using mobile phones are collectively becoming known as 'contact addiction'.

Doctors there believe the root of the problem, as with many addictions, is the desire to escape from emotional difficulties such as depression, stress or anxiety.

Symptoms include a compulsion to text, or go online, taking precedence over everything else, and feeling moody and irritable when unable to feed the compulsion.

Sleep deprivation, eye strain and increased agitation are also found in sufferers.


Following the increase in behavioural addictions the clinic is launching a new treatment programme that will tailor treatment to individuals and their lifestyles.

"The essence of addictions has altered dramatically in the Noughties," said a spokesperson for the clinic.

It will no longer be compulsory for patients to check in for 28 days and 'out' themselves to friends and work colleagues.

Busy addicts may prefer to be treated as a day or out-patient, or to seek help outside of normal working hours, said the Priory.

One father told child safety and parenting group Childalert that he had discovered his 16-year-old daughter was spending £20 a week plus all her school dinner money on texting her friends.

"She hasn't had a meal in school for the past three months and worst of all considers no other activity or hobby worthy of her pocket money," he told their website.

The group publishes a safety guide on mobile phone use for children.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Texting Addiction Is A Growing Problem

Teen Texting Addiction

In the ever-expanding world of addiction 12-step programs, there exist Gamblers Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and even Over-Eaters Anonymous, and according to specialists in Britain, Text Messagers Anonymous may soon be next.

The Priory Clinic, one of Britain's best known psychiatric clinics and a respected authority on addiction, announced Monday that there has been a huge rise in technology-related addictions recently, and in particular, addictions to text messaging and internet surfing.

"We have a situation where some people look down on alcoholics and cocaine addicts, but then go and spend five hours in an Internet chat room," Priory Clinic employee Dr. Mark Collins said in an interview with London's Sunday Telegraph.

Text messaging, or sending quick notes through cell phones, has been increasing in popularity since it first debuted Dec. 3, 1992, when an engineer named Neil Papworth sent the first text message saying "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to his colleagues at Vodafone, from a PC to a mobile phone on the Vodafone GSM network in the UK. It was not until 1999 that text messaging took off, however, when mobile phone companies allowed users to send texts to people signed up with other networks.

Now, the rapid-fire messaging service is available through almost all cellular carriers, and with the average company charging 10-15 cents per text, the spending can easily add up if users fail to monitor their usage.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

"I don't really worry about it too much because it's cheaper during the day to text than call when I don't have many daytime minutes," University of Wisconsin freshman Amanda Blomquist said. "But I don't really do it an insane amount or anything."

Employees at the Priory Clinic have reported some patients spending up to seven hours a day text messaging. And according to UW assistant professor of psychology Charles Landry, that is when a simple habit can be taken too far and it can become a texting addiction.

"Addiction is an odd thing," Landry said. "More and more, we are finding that everyone is genetically able to develop an addiction, but it is still unknown why some people develop addictions to some things, and other people completely different things."

Landry went on to explain that addictions in general stem from the brain's prefrontal cortex, where decisions are made and rewards are registered. Addictions are created in the brain when a certain activity or product stimulates the release of the hormone dopamine, which then creates a pleasurable chemical rush through the body.

"In an addiction, such as text addiction, the decision-making aspect of the prefrontal cortex is kind of ignored, and the result is the person will do an act over and over without the hesitation a ‘normal' person would have, in order to receive that rush," Landry said.

According to Landry, there are really no effective cures for addictions yet, but with an addiction like text messaging, cognitive therapy would usually be the best option.

"There are no drugs you can take to cure this yet," Landry said. "But often times the addiction will be a symptom of a larger problem such as depression or anxiety, and they can prescribe medicine for the treatment of those problems."

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

SMS Texting Addiction: When You Just Can't Stop Texting

The number of texting addicts is on the rise. A internet therapy center in Scandinavia has treated around 60 addicts since 1998 and this number is believed to be under reported.

Asia has not been spared either. According to Telecoms Korea, 3 out of 10 Korean high school students who carry mobile phones are reported to be addicted to mobile phones. The report also added, a big 21% of 270 high school students carrying cell phones responded that they feel anxious when their handsets are not in their hands and 8% of them said that they feel very frustrated without mobile phones. 10% of the respondents already reported of pain in the shoulder or wrist. This is repetitive strain injury - pressing small keyboards of cell phones causes poor blood circulation and pain in the shoulder.

The immediate effect of sms text addiction, called by some as compulsive text messaging, is repetitive strain injury. This dries out the lubricating fluid between tendons of your hands, shoulders and wrists.

Those exhibiting this type of addiction are also prone to depression, anxiousness and sleep disorder, aside from the monetary effects to the person and his/her family.

Many people affected by this technology addiction are still on their denial stage claiming there is no such thing as sms texting addiction. In the early days of marijuana and cocaine, addiction also went unrecognized until people realized they were addicted into it and it was already too late for them to respond rationally.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Why are people quick to look down on alcoholics or drug addicts, but then go out and spend 12 hours in Internet chatrooms? Compulsive text messaging are sending people to clinics for treating their technology addictions. And this number is rising.

The World Health Organization has defined addiction as a pathological relationship with a mood-altering substance or experience that has life damaging consequences. So this means an addiction need not be with a mood-altering substance like marijuana or alcohol but it could also be an experience or an activity like Internet chatting or SMS text messaging.

People should start getting serious about this malady. Somebody close to you may be into it but you refuse to recognize that it exists. Learn to recognize the common signs like denial, tolerance, withdrawal, obsession, compulsion, and isolation. These signs are common symptoms in almost all addictions.

Daily, we've seen new SMS applications introduced into the market. The market for SMS texting is getting more lucrative intended to make people absorb as much of this technology in their daily lives. The more SMS texting becomes a part of us, the more addicting it will become, the more problems we will have to deal with in the future. Simply, treat technology as a tool and never an extension of our lives. As long as we keep on that perspective, chances of being manipulated by these latest gadgets, gizmos and applications will be slim.

Teen Texting Addiction

for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Friday, February 4, 2011

How To Help Your Teen Text Addict!

Teenage Texting Addiction

By Linda Montgomery - Children's Health Researcher, Mother of 3, and Author

Dear Friend,

Are you struggling with a teen that can't stop texting? Have you been feeling frustrated and angry with yourself because you can't make them stop - no matter what you say or do?

If your answer is "yes" then I'm sorry you're going through this - I know exactly how you feel because I personally went through the same agony not that long ago.

I had a two year long standoff with my daughter over her texting until I finally found a way to help her stop, and it feels so good to have my happy, healthy, normal daughter back!

What you're about to read is the most powerful system that has ever been created for helping your teen kick the texting habit once and for all. Although text and cell phone addiction rates are increasing, most people don't know how to cope - and most don't even know this system exists.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

I Finally Found The Answer!

Teenage Texting Addiction

I even interviewed psychologists and counselors! I tried everything they told me but the arguments were still happening, the tense atmosphere around the house was still there almost all the time, and life was difficult... until I met who I call "The Rebel Counselor".

He didn't approach his job like most of his colleagues. He pushes the boundaries of counseling and suggested I try something completely out of the ordinary... something so clever - yet so simple - that I drove home and starting trying it right away. After 2 years of having a "zombie" daughter, what did I have to lose?

In less than 2 weeks of trying his methods, my daughter's texting slowed down by at least 50% - and within one month she was what I would consider "back to normal."

CLICK HERE for more information on how to help your Teen Text Addict.

Teenage Texting Addiction