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To Text or Sleep That is the Question

Teenage Girl Texting
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

This will probably come as no surprise to any parent of a teenage girl, but according to a new study out of Rhode Island, the average 18-year girl spends more time texting than sleeping each day.

All of the women that participated in the study were college freshman.

On average they each spent about 12 hours a day either texting, going online or hanging out on social media networks.

Is texting taking its toll on teens?

Back in 2008 the average American teenager was sending and receiving about 2,272 text messages per month. That’s almost 80 messages per day.

The phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians and psychologists, who say it is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation.

All this texting may be taking a toll on teenagers’ thumbs too. Annie Wagner, 15, a ninth-grade honor student in Bethesda, Md., used to text on her tiny LG phone as fast as she typed on a regular keyboard. She began to notice painful cramping in her thumbs. Since  receiving a new iPhone for her birthday, “Annie claims that texting is now slower and less painful.”

What’s the answer? Should parents start confiscating teenagers phones to ensure they get enough sleep or until their grades improve in school? It’s hard to say.

I just remember a day, when parents used to complain that all teenagers wanted to do was sleep! Welcome to the information age I guess.

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