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Teen Texting and Networking Pose Health Risks

A new research study conducted by Case Western Reserve University revealed that hypertexting or hypernetworking teens are more likely to have sex, smoke, drink alcohol, fight, and use drugs. “Hypertexting” was defined as sending 120 texts or more per day; “hypernetworking” was defined as spending at least three hours per day on social networking sites like Facebook.

Teens that were involved in both hypertexting and hypernetworking were much more likely to miss school, fall asleep in class, be victims of cyberbullying, and be suicidal.

Hypertexting and hypernetworking were most common among girls, minorities, and single-parent households.

The report did not suggest that texting and social networking contributed to the increase in these behaviors. Rather, the researchers deduced that hypertexting and hypernetworking are symptoms of permissive parents. Dr. Scott Frank, lead researcher of the study, said, “The startling results of this study suggest that when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers.”

Before the advent of social media and digital entertainment, teens used to keep themselves so busy playing sports, doing homework, and spending time outside that they could not think of much else. Do they lead such boring lives that texts and social networking have taken over?

What is the solution to this problem? How can parents teach their children to have more rounded lives?
Source: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

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