Teens Constantly Texting Can Be Positive?

March 14, 2016 | Back to the Blog

Teens constantly texting can be positive

With all the negative feedback we seem to hear about teens and texting, you may be surprised to hear that the teen texting craze may actually be a positive thing.

Psychologist Marion Underwood conducted a longitudinal study over the span of many years in which she scrutinized the text messages and emails of a sample of teenagers.  As a result of her study, she came to some surprising conclusions: “We saw some of the most wonderful examples of adolescents using text messaging to engage in intimate, supportive behavior.”

Out of all the teens studied, 70% of the messages analyzed were found to consist of positive or neutral messages, while only 6% included sexual language and only 7% included profanity.

These findings seem to contradict what we tend to hear about the dangers of texting and the detrimental effects of teen texting on society.  But according to the study, “teen texting isn’t nearly as negative as many parents fear.”

This revelation may help parents to breathe a sigh of relief.  Though it is just one study, it’s nice to know that there is at least one sample of teenagers that uses texting for positive use.

Really, the key for families is to be in tune with your own kids and be monitoring how they are using texting and other forms of digital communication such as social media.  In fact, Underwood seems to suggest that parents have more to worry about with their kids’ Facebook and Twitter accounts than their text messaging behavior.

Underwood also suggests that communication with your kids about what they do on social media is highly important.  She says, “Our best hope of influencing their online conduct and online experience is to use our relationships to discuss with them.”

The takeaway?  You don’t necessarily need to freak out over your kids’ obsession with texting.  But neither should you be ignorant and allow them unmonitored digital communication access.  Be an involved, caring parent.

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