Nielsen Company claims that in the fourth quarter of 2008, American teens send and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month! The research firm claims the popularity of unlimited texting plans has more than doubled text messaging since the final quarter of 2007.
If we assume teens sleep about 8 hours a day, this means they sent and receive almost 5 text messages every hour that they're awake.
Psychologists cited by NY Times claim excessive text messaging is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation.
Dr. Martin Joffe, a pediatrician in Greenbrae, Calif., recently surveyed students at two local high schools and said he found that many were routinely sending hundreds of texts every day.
“That’s one every few minutes,” he said. “Then you hear that these kids are responding to texts late at night. That’s going to cause sleep issues in an age group that’s already plagued with sleep issues.”
The rise in texting is too recent to have produced any conclusive data on health effects. But Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who is director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and who has studied texting among teenagers in the Boston area for three years, said it might be causing a shift in the way adolescents develop.