Texting Addiction: Statistics and Solutions

Not really a good phone for texting, is it?
Not really a good phone for texting, is it?

Texting: The Statistics

How much is to much? Texting among cell phone users (especially younger ones) has reached a critical point, and now scientists & psychologists are debating it's effects on our health. Some even go as far to call it addictive. Of course, texting can be beneficial to a certain degree, but again, how much is to much?

First off, think of how many texts you can send in a day? If your older (and weren't raised with cell phones), the answer is probably, "how long it takes for me to figure out how to do it.". However, our current teenage population has shown that an extraordinarily large amount can be sent in just a few moments.

Here is a real life example, however, I'll keep certain details out. A family that I know got a bill stating that their daughter, who is a teenager in high school, sent over 15,000 texts in a single month.

Lets say that this was done during January, a month with 31 days. 15,000 divided by 31 is around 483 texts a day. Divide that by 24 and you get a solid 20 texts every hour.

However, this isn't really realistic, since it represents a full 24 hour period. So if we say that she woke up at 5:00 A.M. and went to sleep at 9:00 P.M., that gives us a 16 hour period of time. So we now can divide 483 by 16 and that gives us about 30 texts an hour. Doesn't sound bad right?

Sorry to bore you with math, but this is the critical point. 30 texts is a small number for a single hour, but with 60 minutes in 1 hour, that's a text every 2 minutes, consistently, every hour of every day, for a month.

For a teen who is studying in school, this destroys any concentration that they may need to learn. Constant texts mean that attention can no longer be devoted to the task at hand, and the problem stretches outside school as well, and it can be seen many states that have passed laws against using cell phones while driving, which causes many more injuries than you would think. For more information on that, visit this link here:http://www.infographicsshowcase.com/driving-while-texting-infographic/

Why do we text?

Now, I am not saying that texting is totally pointless. In fact, it has been very useful to me on certain occasions. Texting has more advantages than just being a cheaper way of sending information. It is faster, more to the point, and sometimes, it is easier to do than calling someone. But texting is pointless in some cases. Many conversations that take place seems to be texting just for texting.

Socialization is extremely important for humans, as a general statement. It helps us learn and interact and gain experience needed to live. Without it, we wouldn't be nearly as advanced as we are today. However, texting, according to many scientists and psychologists, isn't what you would call "healthy" socialization. There is a big difference in interacting with another person face-to-face, than through a cell phone.

It becomes a problem when you have to text that person, for whatever reason, and you find that either you can't stop or can't put the phone down. Do you eagerly await for your ringtone to go off, signalling that you have a text?

When I think of the word addictive, I don't think of cell phones, I think of things such as cigarettes and alcohol and other, more lethal drugs. How addictive something is is hard to quantify, but many psychologists agree that it has become more than just "texting a lot". However, technology will progress, and we may have other addictive things on our table. Already, with the rise of social websites such as Facebook and Twitter, we see that people spend a great deal of time checking their profiles and playing games for large quantities of time.

A graph of people texting while driving ( From USA Today Education)
A graph of people texting while driving ( From USA Today Education) | Source

Health Risks

Now, would texting really be a bad thing if it had no health risks? Many debate the amount of radiation that is released when talking or texting on a cell phone, but in my opinion, that is not what you should be worried about.

As a person who gets migraines from a range of sources, I can see some health consequences of texting to long. Headaches in general aren't a big problem, but they are most certainly annoying and can lead to more serious issues if they persist. Focusing on a single screen for too long may cause vision problems, just as staring at a computer screen can cause problems.

Now, let's go back to our texting scenario. In all likelihood, it is entirely possible that she did not go right to bed at 9:00 P.M.. She may have stayed up into the night texting, in which case she is losing sleep and the energy to go school. This may reflect on grades and progress in classes. If you are older and go to college or have a job, you cannot afford to be tired and have an accident on the road. This is assuming that your just tired, and not texting while driving, which is the greatest health risk.

Driving While Texting

The greatest threat that come from cell phones is when you use them while driving. This is number one at a long list of what many called distracted driving. Now, you have heard of people putting on makeup or shaving or reaching down to grab that coffee, and these things occasionally end up causing a crash, However, because it is so easy to text (for some), many think that it is equally easy to text and drive. This has been proven to not be the case, because texting reduces the amount of attention placed on the road. It only takes a split second for that truck in front of you to put on his brakes, and if your not prepared to stop, your car may become a new rear fender for that truck.

A lot of studies have been done on this specific topic. Here is a link which summarizes them into nice brief statistics: http://www.nationwide.com/newsroom/dwd-facts-figures.jsp

How to Stop

The problem with texting, unlike cigarettes or alcohol, is that they are accessible to almost anyone, easy to use, and it makes it much simpler to contact people. This ease of use causes people to use free time to text, which proceeds to using their phone during times in which they should not text.

Stopping isn't as easy as as pulling the battery out of your phone. Cell phones are important if you have an emergency or need to talk to someone, which means that you need to have it. In my opinion, if you have an unlimited texting plan, then you may want to downgrade, which will stop you from going over your limit (unless you want to be charged a ridiculous amount), and save you money in the long run. If you have a teen you care about, you may want to talk to them about it, and find something to do with them. A hobby that they enjoy will distract them from their phone, and also give them something productive to do. It may also improve your relationship with them as well.

Sometimes, A Waste of Time.

Quite honestly, even if you don't get headaches, have a second pair of eyes on the road, and have enough energy to work through the day, texting is a huge waste of time. Unless it is important business, or are communicating for reasonable purposes, there isn't any reason to do it. I find that the best conversations are the ones you have face to face with people, and it would be better to text someone that you would like to speak to them directly than talk to them through your phone.

Texting isn't the only thing out there that is addictive. For other different addictions, take a look at the links below.

Did I miss something? Or get something wrong? If you have any comments, please post them below so I can get feedback. Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Texting Poll

Can texting become obsessive?

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Comments 20 comments

Francesca 6 years ago

that was usefull

i ussed some of it for my speech if that's ok... i personally changed some wordsfor you(so its not copyright)...

OrangeKid profile image

OrangeKid 6 years ago from Pinon Hills, California Author

That's okay with me, and I am glad that you liked the hub!

jackie 6 years ago

I will be joining with my 16 yr old on a paper for his school on texting. I have implimented with him 15 min. per hour of texting the rest is for normal phone use..call it conversation. He has to put the phone down at 10pm and not allowed to handle it until 6:30 amduring the week. texting was coming first over everything and o me 2 word answers on a text is not a 911 situation. It has been a week and he is getting better and less tense. I'm scared for the youth if this keeps getting worse.

jessica 6 years ago

ppl u guys need to get a pife and stop texting

shitimshocked 6 years ago

OMG!!! after reading this, all i can conclude is that I AM ADDICTED TO TEXTING!!well now its obvious because I have myself noticed that if I don't get texts from people even for a day, it puts me into near-to-severe depression and thats really baaaad!!!!Shit help me get out of this!!I don't want my life to be bound around texting!!But how do I stop??

Dexx 6 years ago

Well, I'm not surprised about this. I'm just shocked it hasn't been proven to be an addiction. If you want advice on how to stop, I'd say the fine lines are "DO NOT text when you are in the company of your friends/family. I mean come one, that's just rude anyways." "Don't do it at school or at work. (I'm eighteen and in High School; I survive)." "Number one thing: DO NOT EVER and I mean NEVER EVER text while driving. Not at a red light or a stop sign... DON'T DO IT!!!!!" What business is it of yours to endanger another's life on the road? More and more wrecks and fatalities have come from people texting while driving.

Another wild bone is that cell phones, whether on or off, emit extremely high levels of radiation... which gives you cancer very rapidly. I personally try to avoid my cell phone at all costs. Anyways, that's just me.

Jalapoco 6 years ago

Unbelievable, I text a few people, but one buddy in particular. He went on vacation and I my nerves got really poor. I thought the anxiety was coming from extra stress in my daily life but as soon as he got back and I was able to text again I was in a better mood and feeling much better.

Cameron 5 years ago

Im using this information for a project if that is okay?

ihcozel 17 5 years ago

... Dats was nce topic..

5 years ago

My husband is one of the last guys to get a cell phone. He thought it was a waste of time and he use to criticize everyone who used one. Now having one less then a year, I just found out he's been texting a work associate through out the day and evenings when I'm out. Last months bill showed 4000 text to this one number. I don't believe any thing good will come out of this technology.

5 years ago

To continue from last...A female work associate. Caught this month, on the 10th day with 2000 texts and 21 more days to go. Addicted, I think yes! And in trouble....what's the solution

Ho 5 years ago

Texting like anything else can be addictive. By definition... if the behavior causes harm to you, and you are unable to stop despite knowing that the bahavior is harmfull.... you are then considered "addicted". Important to remember, as with any "addiction", the phone, drugs, booze, gambling... the behavior is a symptom.... it's the PERSON that is sick... not the phone..

ciara 4 years ago

I txt sooo much...i never used to but since my friends do i have started ... i cant stop now....im addicted, im still good at school and all but im afraid i will slowly get worse....i honestly cant stop... does anybody have a really good solution???

awesome pawsome 4 years ago

im doing a speech on texting and this will help a lot!! thnx!

Alex 4 years ago

Personally, I'm 16 and I would rather text someone something so you can get to the point and off the phone quicker. I hate talking on the phone, and I actually hate cell phones in general, unless I'm incredibly bored or somewhere I don't want to be.

When my phone broke, I was glad, and didn't get a new one for months. You feel free not having to give someone an instant response every second when you just want to relax. And one last point to why I hate phones is that you can't hang out with someone anymore and have a good time without them pulling out their phone and texting, (especially in the theater).

So nice job on your article, you've got great points, and your poll really proves it. =)

Franklin Chucks 4 years ago

Alex, well said. I can't tell you how many times I have been out with family or friends and they're texting away or browsing the internet. It's rude! Maybe they're bored or nervous, I don't know. But man, put that device away just for a few hours.

I see people texting/talking on their cell when driving a car. It's illegal where I am, yet it's still ever so common. I sat behind a woman the other day in my car waiting for her to turn left. It took her 5 seconds to respond to the advanced left hand turn signal. She crawled through at a snails pace. There was nobody in front of her and when I barely made it through the advanced left, I could see she was texting.

Yeah, real safe. Makes my blood boil just thinking about it. People weaving, delayed reactions, well below speed limit: wonderful responses to being busy on their phone.

Anyway, I do think it's an unhealthy addiction, especially when people are taking the darn thing to bed. Texting while crossing the street and so-on. Just completely oblivious to their surroundings.

Something has to change and unfortunately I don't have any answers due to the sheer popularity/addictiveness of cell phones.

Vincent 4 years ago

Do people who post these articles not take the time to check their grammar?

Eric 3 years ago

This is becoming a major public health issue.

The devices are becoming highly addictive. There are biochemical changes that occur with constant use of cell phones.

Relationships are being destroyed, careers lost, and injuries through constant texting.

Why does someone always have to be connected with others? Has our self worth diminished to the point where literally every minute we need someone to speak with. And carry on conversations that for the most part are highly trivial and stupid.

Someone who cannot put their cell phone down is an addict. Maybe he does not look like a crack addict, but he/she is no better. The long term consequences will be the same. These are destructive evil devices. They suck you in.

Remember the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". These devices are the pods.

Darci 3 years ago

I know for a fact I am addicted. I can text maybe over one thousand messages from 7am to 10-12pm. I can't go without it without going through seperation anxiety. Whenever I get it taken away I will cry, get mad, or get depressed. I never really texted so much till I met this guy from a different state. I mostly text him. I recently learned that I texted over 50,000 messages one month. Its bad. I do have migranes and my eye sight got so bad I really needed glasses. So this is why I think I am, I don't see it as a bad thing, just a habbit.

Gab 3 years ago

Half-Life 3 Confirmed

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