Stories tagged teenagers


Is texting too much of a good thing?
Is texting too much of a good thing?Courtesy Brandon ChristopherWarren
Physicians and psychologists are starting to worry about a new risk to teen health, this time it has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol or other risky behavior. According to some researchers, teenage text-a-holics are beginning to suffer health effects associated with too much time spent hammering away on cell phone keys. These effects range from injured fingers and hands to anxiety, sleep deprivation and poor performance in school.

According to information provided by major cell phone companies, American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month in late 2008. That's almost 80 messages a day, and the number appears to be growing with the rise of unlimited text message plans.

Some researchers believe that this rate of text communication - and the feeling of constant contact with parents and peers that it provides - may be altering the way that teenagers develop socially. Psychologist Sherry Turlke is quoted in a recent New York Times article:

Among the jobs of adolescence are to separate from your parents, and to find the peace and quiet to become the person you decide you want to be. Texting hits directly at both those jobs.

In other words, in the past teenagers have needed distance from their parents and time alone to develop self-identity. But in the era of constant electronic communication, some worry that this path to development is becoming impossible for texting teens. So what will replace it?

Researchers are quick to point out that there are lots of good things about these new communication technologies, including the way that they make us all feel connected with one another, which is usually a good thing. But is it too much of a good thing?

Are doctors and parents worried because they just don't understand, or is texting really a risk to teen health?


Dazed and confused? A dose of heavy metal might cheer you up: Photo by Horacio Lledias via
Dazed and confused? A dose of heavy metal might cheer you up: Photo by Horacio Lledias via

Researchers in England have found that teenaged fans of heavy metal music had lower self-esteem than fans of other types of music. A follow-up study with a small group on honor students revealed that they listened to metal to relieve pressure and other bad feelings. (Hey, sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.)

So, far from causing depression, heavy metal music can actually be life-affirming. Makes sense to me – a good dose of metal certainly can get your motor running.

OK, I’ll stop now.