Instant messaging, Twitter and unlimited texting on many cell phone plans have led to a texting craze among today’s youth. Kids will commonly communicate by texting instead of speaking, even when sitting next to each other on the couch. This texting phenomenon is something that is becoming an increasingly large concern to some parents. Instead of worrying about cigarettes, alcohol or drug addiction, they fear their children are becoming addicted to texting.
How do you know if your kid’s texting is getting out of hand? Here are 10 signs your child may be addicted to texting:
- Calluses on thumbs – Check your child’s thumbs for calluses. This is a clear sign that texting is getting out of hand. Your kid may also start complaining about pain or cramps in the thumbs. This can be caused by severe overuse of the common digits used for texting, and warning bells should be ringing.
- Runs into things – Is your child constantly running into things? Kids who are addicted to texting pay more attention to their phones than where they’re going, and take little notice of any obstacles that may be in their way.
- Deformed neck – Does your child have a permanently bowed head because of a neck deformity? By looking down at a phone for extended periods of time, growing children can end up with a deformed neck.
- Speaks in acronyms – When your kids actually talk to you instead of texting, do they speak in acronyms? Are they commonly saying things like OMG and LOL? If you find yourself beginning to wonder if they’ve learned a new language, you’re right. The inability to speak in complete sentences using real words is a clear sign of texting addiction.
- Attached to phone – Has your child’s phone become a part of their anatomy? Are they continually within arm’s reach of their phone at all times? Are they constantly checking it for new messages? This is another sign you should be concerned.
- Unaware of surroundings – Are your kids completely oblivious to their surroundings? Are they unaware of spectacular sunsets or a giraffe in the back yard? Children who are addicted to texting become so focused on their phones they ignore everything else.
- Takes phone to bed – Is your child taking his phone to bed? Some kids will spend all night texting with their friends while their parents are completely unaware. This can lead to serious sleep deprivation and teachers will find them nodding off at school. If you suspect this, you may need to confiscate the phone at bedtime.
- Panics attacks – If your son or daughter loses their phone, do they go into a panic attack? Kids who are addicted to texting become completely unhinged when separated from their phones. This is a serious sign of addiction that needs to be addressed.
- Unable to function otherwise – If you take the phone away from your child, is he completely unable to function without it? Kids with serious texting addictions can have trouble functioning without the constant connection to others texting gives them.
- Combative behavior – Does your child become combative when you confront him with his texting problem? This behavior is another sign of addiction. If this happens, you may need to schedule an intervention.
Can this texting epidemic be stopped, or is it too late? Is our youth condemned to deformed necks and callused thumbs, spending their lives completely oblivious to their surroundings? Even though this article is meant to be tongue in cheek, parents do have some reason to be concerned about their children and texting. If your child is displaying unusual behavior you may need to intervene. Remember that you are the parent and you pay the phone bill. Take action before your child is consumed by the texting craze. Kids these days may need a reminder that there is a world beyond their cell phone.