When it seems like your teen's fingers are permanently glued to her cell phone, you might have a problem. While tapping away might seem innocent enough, there are actually some problems and risks associated with too much texting. According to data and media company Nielsen, teens send or receive 3,339 texts a month, and that can do damage to more than just your monthly bill. Find out how too much texting can be a serious teen issue.
It's a chicken and egg scenario -- excessive texting is linked to risky behavior, but it might also be the other way around. Regardless, a 2010 study completed by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine found that too much texting was a predictor of risky behavior like substance abuse, smoking and multiple sex partners. In fact, teens who "hypertext" -- send more than 120 text messages per day -- were 43 percent more likely to be binge drinkers, 55 percent more likely to get in a physical fight, and 93 percent more likely to report four or more sexual partners.
When you send your teen to school in the morning, you probably hope that she makes the most of the opportunity to learn. Unfortunately, with a cell phone attached to her hand, texting could prove to be too much of an educational distraction. Even if your teen isn't sending the messages, she could be receiving them, breaking her concentration in school, and distracting her while she's trying to do homework. Even if your teen's school forbids texting in class, teens often find covert methods to send messages.
Texting while driving is seriously dangerous behavior. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 11 percent of drivers who were in a car accident admitted to be sending or receiving a text message when the accident occurred. Texting while driving takes your teen's eyes and her concentration off of the road, so she's less alert and slower to react. It's simply unacceptable behavior, and it's especially a problem for new drivers who should give their full attention to the road -- not to a text message.
While texting isn't exactly an extreme sport, it doesn't mean your teen can text night and day without any physical effects. Too much texting can actually lead to tendinitis, according to the Journal of Family Practice. Similar to typing on a computer or completing the same motion over and over, tendinitis can cause pain, aching and throbbing in the wrist and in the thumb as a result of your teen's incessant texting.