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Description: Quick! Answer this question off the top of your head: Is texting good or bad? Well, assuming your mind did not leap to issues arising from presidential tweets your yes or no answer likely reflected your personal preferences regarding texts or perhaps the Psychological researcher in you suggested that the question was too simplistic and uncontextualized to be addressable. So, here is a potentially better question: If you were designing a program of research looking at texting patterns, habits and (psychological) consequences what sorts of things do you think need to be examined and how should they be examined? Once you have given that a bit of thought read through the article, written by someone who has actually done research on texting, and see what she, and others, have done and see how it aligns with your possible research direction thoughts.

Source: Why are People Dependent on Texting? Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, Conscious Communication, Psychology Today.

Date: September 28, 2018

Photo Credit: Rawpixel/Pexels

Article Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/conscious-communication/201809/why-are-people-dependent-texting

While there has been a lot of doom and gloom speculation about the developmental and social impacts of texting and social media in general I, at least, am pleased to see that research is being done that does not begin with a dismissive or terrified stance on these new forms of social interaction. Texting is not going away and Psychology needs to help us to understand how it works and how it differentially impacts or is differentially taken up by its diverse array of users. The research discussed in the article linked above provides data-supported dimensions along which text-users seem to vary. Such work is critical to understanding both the core issues associated with new communication mediums as well as the dimensions along which individual users vary. Work like this and the work of the author of the article will help us to build an understanding of how texting is being taken up by users (or not) and will also help us to see or even to anticipate areas where new or unexpected issues or problems may arose for people using new modes of communication.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What issues do you have or potential issues, from a Psychological perspective, do you have or see with texting?
  2. Do you see any potential developmental issues associated with texting (due to its age-related variability of use)?
  3. What are some other areas or aspects of texting or the texting experience that Psychological researchers should be looking at, in your view?

References (Read Further):

Hall, E. D., Feister, M. K., & Tikkanen, S. (2018). A mixed-method analysis of the role of online communication attitudes in the relationship between self-monitoring and emerging adult text intensity. Computers in Human Behavior, 89, 269-278.

Ledbetter, A. M. (2009). Measuring online communication attitude: Instrument development and validation. Communication Monographs, 76(4), 463-486.

Ledbetter, A. M. (2010). Family communication patterns and communication competence as predictors of online communication attitude: Evaluating a dual pathway model. Journal of Family Communication, 10(2), 99-115.

Rosen, L. D., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 948-958.http://www5.csudh.edu/psych/Facebook_and_Texting_Made_Me_Do_It-Media-Induced_Task-Switching_While_Studying-Compuers_in_Human_Behavior-2013-Rosen_Carrier_Cheever.pdf

Schwebel, D. C., Stavrinos, D., Byington, K. W., Davis, T., O’Neal, E. E., & De Jong, D. (2012). Distraction and pedestrian safety: how talking on the phone, texting, and listening to music impact crossing the street. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 45, 266-271. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3266515/

Caird, J. K., Johnston, K. A., Willness, C. R., Asbridge, M., & Steel, P. (2014). A meta-analysis of the effects of texting on driving. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 71, 311-318.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000145751400178X

Hall, J. A., & Baym, N. K. (2012). Calling and texting (too much): Mobile maintenance expectations,(over) dependence, entrapment, and friendship satisfaction. New media & society, 14(2), 316-331. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jeffrey_Hall10/publication/258173836_Calling_and_texting_too_much_Mobile_maintenance_expectations_overdependence_entrapment_and_friendship_satisfaction/links/56f5b12a08ae95e8b6d1dc61.pdf

 

 

 

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