According to a new case study by the “Case Western Reserve School of Medicine” teens that are hyper-texters are, two times more likely to try or have tried alcohol, forty percent likely to have tried smoking, nearly three and a half times more likely to have had sex, and forty one percent more likely to illicit drugs. In this article a hyper-texter is defined as someone who sends 120 texts or more each day. Three or more hours per day on any social media network is now being considered “hyper-networking”. The poor health behaviors previously described are being linked to such activities. Payne states, “This is not the first study to reveal such findings.” Researchers say the results among the various studies are creating a need for a new health risk category among teens. In an effort to shed light on the threat these habits pose to our teens, federal safety regulators have proposed several guidelines for states to create laws that would restrict texting while driving. Currently, nineteen states have enacted a ban on texting behind the wheel and seven states have banned the use of all handheld devices while driving. Under currently proposed guidelines, anything from a minimum $75.00 fine to a maximum felony sentence can be imposed depending on the circumstance.
In this study, lead researcher Scott Frank states, “the startling results of this study suggests that when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers. This should be a wake-up call for parents to not only help their children stay safe by not texting and driving, but by discouraging excessive use of cell phone or social websites in general.”