Hannah Natanson shared in The Washington Post that texting gets a bad rap. It’s blamed for everything from fostering social isolation to increasing teens’ risk of ADHD to driving down adolescent self-esteem to damaging the spine — a phenomenon known as “text neck.”
But some technological and medical experts say the negativity is unfair and overblown. Texting can and should be a positive force in people’s lives, both in terms of emotional and physical health, they say — so long as it’s used correctly.
“I have a reputation as sort of being the Darth Vader of anything that has to do with texting,” said MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle, author of “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.” “Which, of course, is not really what I have said or am saying — the problem really isn’t that people have this new, interesting, intimate way of touching base … the trouble is what happens to a face-to-face conversation if your phone is always there.”
If done well, Turkle and other experts said, texting can improve interpersonal relationships, help people deal with traumatic events and bridge intergenerational gaps.
Research backs this up: A 2012 study conducted by psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley found that sending and receiving text messages boosted texters’ moods when they were feeling upset or lonely. Read more