The Associated Press reports on a recent study (via HuffPo) that looks at the relationship between the use of technology and behavior in teens. Dr. Scott Frank, associated professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, conducted the study.
The study was done at 20 public high schools in the Cleveland area last year, and is based on confidential paper surveys of more than 4,200 students.
It found that about one in five students were hyper-texters and about one in nine are hyper-networkers – those who spend three or more hours a day on Facebook and other social networking websites.
About one in 25 fall into both categories.
Hyper-texting and hyper-networking were more common among girls, minorities, kids whose parents have less education and students from a single-mother household, the study found.
The provocative findings suggest a correlation, not a causation. Hyper-texting is not a gateway activity into the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Instead – like sex, alcohol and drugs – texting and social networking at large are outlets of expression/coping mechanisms.
The study found those who text at least 120 times a day are nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to have had sex than their peers who don’t text that much. Hyper-texters were also more likely to have been in a physical fight, binge drink, use illegal drugs or take medication without a prescription.
We knew that the members of Gen Y – or millennials – were different because of their unique exposure to the internet. Unlike members of the previous Gen X, millennials require constant feedback and reinforcement in the workplace. This study suggests that the public is still mostly unaware of how different these people are, and consequently how ‘we’ will shape the future.
For now, don’t drink and text, don’t text and drive, and keep the texts to under 120 a day, lest you threaten your safety.