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Cell Phone Texting is the New Smoking Karishma Sundaram | , 12:32 p.m. Aug. 13, 2009 2009-08-13

Excess of anything is bad, says the old adage. In today’s connected world, using computers and cell phones are activities that could be considered universally excessive. 

Every day a new report is released by a group of researchers that determines the excellent value of one thing, or the extremely detrimental value of something else. Cell phones and their usage has long been a pet hate of researchers, in that there have been a number of reports that state certain aspects can be harmful. 

Some of the more prominent studies are the revelation that extended cell phone usage can cause brain damage. While that is probably very true, there are others that leave one wondering why researchers bother in the first place, or where exactly they derive their ideas from; however whether or not studies should be discounted is squarely up to the individual user and their discretion. 

Recently a Virginia institute discovered that texting whilst driving was extremely dangerous. What most people felt was shocking is that it required a three-year study and for legislation to be enforced for people to figure that one out; and not the actual findings. And most of the culprits were the 'texting generation'. 

Texting on cell phones is the way a teenager or young adult stays connected with their particular world. Older people find the practice difficult, as phones are progressively getting smaller and the language is getting more incomprehensible; a fact that probably strikes most of the former group as a definite bonus. 

However, there was a health scare recently where excessive texting led to a medical condition. There have been a number of cases where teens have reportedly sent out thousands of text messages in a month’s time. The first case was startling with a 13-year old sending out 8,000 messages. She soon paled into insignificance when there was another report of a teen striking the 41,000 mark. Again this teen was beaten hollow by a third that sent out a whopping 300,000. The local newspaper had printed the article, even after which it seems impossible.

The first teen was diagnosed with Teen Texting Tendonitis, a new term coined specifically to describe symptoms faced by teenagers who text excessively. TTT, as it is commonly known, is really just a sophisticated moniker for sore thumbs. These results are hardly surprising, considering how many messages have been sent out. 

Monash University, Australia, has released a study saying that the predictive texting program on phones is making children dumber. Apparently, studies conclude that students that use predictive typing finish exams faster but with a whole host of seemingly silly mistakes. One of the researchers claimed that predictive typing trains the teenage mind to be fast but inaccurate, and thereafter they expect the world to follow suit. Parents are probably going to love the excuse to put a limit on their children’s texting; especially since one parent was once confronted with a 440-page texting bill.

The bottom line is that excess of anything is bad – these results prove just that. Read more about the study here.

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