How Has Texting Affected the Social Lives of Teens?
Teenagers now are connected with each other more than any other generation, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In particular, text messaging allows teenagers to interact socially with increased frequency. However, more communication also opens the doors for a negative effects on your teen’s social life, depending on how he chooses to use text messaging.
According to MayoClinic.com, texting has become the essential way for teenagers to communicate and is typically preferred over phone calls or emails 2. As a result, teens often communicate less frequently face-to-face. Similar to the effects of social media on constant and immediate sharing, texting allows teens to quickly share information without the need to set aside time for a phone call or in-person conversation.
Along with its convenience for communicating, texting also allows bullies to reach victims with harassing messages. The rapid communication facilitated by texting also means that bullies who choose to spread rumors can do so quickly and reach several people at once.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tech-savvy teenagers often lack maturity and the understanding that words sent into the digital world have long-lasting consequences, which can lead to sharing inappropriate text or picture messages 3. It can cause a social fallout if inappropriate pictures or messages are shared and passed around.
MayoClinic.com recommends letting your teenager know that you will occasionally check his phone for content. Set ground rules for the use of his phone so that texting does not interfere with homework, sleep or driving, and be consistent with the consequences if he breaks the rules. Check into your wireless service provider’s options for parental controls, which might let you set time limitations and block people you don’t want your teen text.
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