According to Scientific American, texting is the most popular form of communication of people under the age of 30. If that seems crazy, wait till you hear the following statistic: The average student spends less than six minutes on schoolwork before being distracted by texts and social media. In a new study, the American Psychological Association looked at the texting habits of 211 girls and 192 boys and found some interesting gender discrepancies.
Teenage girls use text to socially connect with others, while boys use it to convey information. Females are more likely to become compulsive texters and see a steeper decline in their grades due to texting than their male counterparts do. Girls are also more likely to be distracted by text messages, and the texting affects the girls’ mental health more than the boys’. Additionally, the girls are more likely to send negative content and ruminate on bad texts.
This all seems a little upsetting, especially after learning that many young girls already feel pressure to sext and share provocative images of themselves. More research is starting to show that smartphones are in some ways dangerous to the mental stability of our daughters, sisters, and cousins—something should be done.
Encourage the teenage girl in your life to take a break from texting and read a book—like If I Stay—instead.
What do you think of the effects of texting on teen girls’ mental health?