Let's forget for a moment about the content of texting (sexting, Favring, etc.). Let's instead look at sheer numbers. The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives about 3,339 text messages a month! Unbelievable. This must take up so much time! I also wonder how much does this take away from their ability to interact with someone in person? I can't tell you how often I see it with parents in the exam room while I examine their kid. Why did they come, anyway? Or, when I leave the room to get something and come right back, an adult patient is right back to texting again. The addiction is so great.
The study cited above gives some more statistics and in different age groups but I am more concerned about the whole concept. If you add screen time (XBOX, TV) and facebook or other social networks, I actually believe that we are too connected. My fear is that it dehumanizes us and with that bad things happen. I think all these new instances of cyberbullying are an example and just the tip of the iceberg. People are just too brave when they hide behind an email or text. Things they would never say to someone's face now come easily by pecking a keyboard. It reminds of the concept of "Whiskey Muscles" when guys get into fights after drinking because they think they have become supermen. Bad things always happen then, too. Maybe the new term should be called "Cyber Muscles"?