Excessive texting can cause 'textaphrenia', 'textiety' and 'binge texting': Study

July 01, 2010 08:29 pm | Updated 08:29 pm IST - Melbourne

A student sends a text message through her cell phone. Photo: AP

A student sends a text message through her cell phone. Photo: AP

Teenagers can fall sick if they exchange too much of text messages through mobile phones, according to a new study.

The study into the communication habits among youngsters has found that symptoms of anxiety, insecurity, depression and low self-esteem are most common in text-addicted teenagers.

Text messaging has increased by 89 percent in two years, with one teenage customer managing to send an incredible 4,000 text messages over nine days, according to figures released by Boost Mobile.

Jennie Carroll, a technology researcher from RMIT University in Melbourne studying the effects of modern communication, said the mobile had become meshed into teenagers' lives.

“Texting is quite tribal - it is just what teenagers do with phones,” she was quoted as saying by Herald Sun.

Ms. Carroll classified the effects of modern communication into different categories of disorders-- textaphrenia, textiety, post-traumatic text disorder and binge texting.

Textaphrenia is thinking you've heard a message come in or felt the device vibrate when it actually hasn't. While Textiety is the anxious feeling of not receiving any texts or not being able to send any, she explained.

“With textaphrenia and textiety there is the feeling that 'no one loves me, no one’s contacted me,” Ms. Carroll said.

Post-traumatic text disorder is physical and mental injuries related to texting. Binge texting is when teens send multiple texts to feel good about themselves and try to attract responses.

“There are physical issues arising like walking into things while texting,” Dr. Carroll said. “There were reports from Japan of ‘repetitive thumb syndrome’ and of young people’s thumbs growing in response to too much texting, leading to ‘monster thumbs’.”

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