Texting Under Stress

 The rise of modern telecommunications has transformed the way  people communicate, especially young people.    Recent surveys show that 96 percent of college undergraduates own smartphones (vs 82 percent of adults overall).  Since 2004, smartphone use has grown by more than 5000 percent and the demand for more voice and data services is still greater than ever.    For college undergraduates, text mesaging remains the single most popular way of communicating and many students view it as a key part of social life.   In 2011 alone, cell phone owners between the age of 18 and 24 reported sending more than 100 texts a day on average and adolescents are becoming increasingly dependent on texting as well.

But what does the rise of texting as a form of social communication mean in terms of the overall quality of life?    Despite news stories warning about the dangers of texting (including texting while driving,, "sexting", and texts sent while under the influence of drugs or alcohol),  text messaging seems here to stay.     Research looking at the impact of texting on social relationships, academic performance, and personal safety suggests that being able to communicate digitally helps foster those relationships that are important in a texter's life.    While personal cell phones have already promoted a sense of perpetual access (in which people are available to communicate at any time, day or night),  texting places even more stress on people to be always available.

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today post. 







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