What do 80 texts a day add up to?

I found this detail more surprising than the 80-text-messages-a-day average for teens: they’re sending a lot of those texts … to their parents?

The rise in texting is too recent to have produced any conclusive data on health effects. But Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who is director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and who has studied texting among teenagers in the Boston area for three years, said it might be causing a shift in the way adolescents develop.

“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,” she said. “Texting hits directly at both those jobs.”

Psychologists expect to see teenagers break free from their parents as they grow into autonomous adults, Professor Turkle went on, “but if technology makes something like staying in touch very, very easy, that’s harder to do; now you have adolescents who are texting their mothers 15 times a day, asking things like, ‘Should I get the red shoes or the blue shoes?’”


from “Texting May Be Taking a Toll on Teenagers,” by Katie Hafner, The New York Times, 26 May 2009

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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