Teens are Texting All Night Long

The very technology that was developed to bring us closer together is posing some serious side effects. For years now, inquiring minds throughout the world have asked whether social media is creating socially-stunted youth. Has the internet and text messaging bred a generation of people who would prefer to avoid one-on-one social situations and conversations? Has the age of convenience caused our obesity rates to skyrocket? Are young adults losing their sense of self, panicking when they don’t have constant contact with their friends? Now we’re forced to ask another question: Is technology snatching precious hours of sleep from our kids?
Why, yes it is, says researchers from the JFK Medical Center. It turns out that teens, on average, are texting 34 times each night. This texting-activity takes place in the middle of the night, after the teens have gone to sleep. Teenagers, sleeping with their cell phones under their pillow or on their nightstands, are neglecting to consider that this late-night texting is interrupting their sleep cycles. I wonder how many of them know that insufficient amounts and poor quality of sleep can cause:

  • a significant decrease in cognitive function and memory
  • trouble learning
  • suppression of the immune system
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • mood swings
  • weight gain

Maybe if I add that losing sleep will increase water retention, cause bags under your eyes and decrease skin regeneration, someone will listen. It’s called ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason.
Seriously, though, poor sleep habits can have pretty drastic consequences. I hate to point fingers, but I think this is a classic case of sloppy parental control. Teenagers need boundaries and maybe it’s time to say “no phones” after bedtime. I promise you, every single cell phone has a power button. Granted, you can take away their phones and who knows, they may stay up coloring instead.