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Texting May Be Taking a Toll

[Note to self, text warning to daughter immediately.]

Texting May Be Taking a Toll

By KATIE HAFNER, NY Times

The phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians and psychologists, who say it 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.

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Photo:  Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times.

 


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