Share & Connect
The sexting phenomena increases as the days go by. According to a recent survey done by the University of Rhode Island faculty in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 56 percent of 204 college students have received sexually suggestive images by text messaging; nearly 80 percent have received suggestive messages.
The survey investigates the impact of technology use on physical and mental health, as well as interpersonal relationships in college students. It has revealed that while most of the messages (73 percent) were sent to a relationship partner, 10 percent were sent without the permission of the person who originally sent the message.
Nowadays for most of the students, texting is a primary communication tool used both for maintaining existing friendships and establishing new ones. However, using it in a bad way can lead to some negative effects.
As Tiffany S. Kisler, one of the professors who led the study, pointed out, “the danger for many students is that they don’t realize the lack of control they have over who is seeing their messages.”
Kisler thinks that it is vital to help students, understand the importance of using technology in moderation.
The issue of younger people sending explicit suggestive images and messages via cell-phone is getting worse every day. In March, the New York Times about covered the story of a student named Margarite, who sent a message to her boyfriend with a picture of her naked. In in less than 24 hours, the picture spread through the rest of her colleagues and unknown people.
Everyday, hundreds of thousands of kids unconsciously open themselves up to not only ridicule, but also the threat of being labeled a sex offender.
On the other hand, the research has found that texting and cell phone usage is affecting important aspects of students’ physical health.
Out of the 236 colleges junior and seniors sample, 47 percent always answered the text messages even when they receive them while they were sleeping. In addition a 40 percent of students answered phone calls while sleeping.
The research stands out because all students who use their phone during the night lost around 44 minutes of sleep per week. These night interruptions can affect the sleep quality and also cause some serious issues such as depression and anxiety.
As a consequence, Sue K. Adams, another professor that participated in this survey, said “more often than not, the interruptions caused by texting come with the first few hours of sleep, which is the most important time for restorative sleep. If students are constantly interrupting their sleep cycle, they place themselves at risk for sleep debt, which can impact multiple areas of their life, including academic performance.”
Texting while driving
Text messaging while driving is banned throughout 34 states in U.S. However, many students have passed their own distracted driving bans. According to this survey more than 93 percent of students surveyed reported texting while driving, and more than 82 percent reported they had sent messages while at the wheel since the state law banning texting and driving was passed. In addition, as Adam stated “it is possible that students do not believe that they will get caught, or that the penalty is minimal enough to risk texting while driving. Many students are also confused about the definition of the law. They are unclear if it includes sending or reading a text while driving or stopped.”
In today´s society texting has converted in a fundamental tool to communicate with each other not only among young people but also among adults. Accordin to the online media outlet AARP plenty of older adults also send spicy messages on their cell phones, but it´s usually a private matter.
Transmission of sexually explicit images of individuals under age 18 is also a serious legal issue that may subject those who are guilty to child pornography charges. Regarding this aspect Kisler pointed out the importance of setting boundaries around technology, both in terms of what people share and how often they are sharing it.