Texting May Increase 'Cognitive And Moral Shallowness' In Teens

girl texting

Photo: Flickr/Juan Nosé

Addiction to texting and tweeting may be making people immoral, shallow and materialistic.An early draft of a study by Dr. Paul Trapnell at the University of Winnipeg identified a scary correlation between teenagers who text often and feelings of rapid, shallow thought (via WebMD).

texting reflection

Photo: Courtesy of Paul Trapnell and Lisa Sinclair, Dept. of Psychology, The University of Winnipeg

When teenagers who texted often — some who claimed to send over 300 texts a day — were asked about the importance of 63 life goals, the results showed a tendency for the young adults to dismiss thoughts of morality, spirituality, knowledge, community and altruism.Instead, options like wealth, image, eroticism, power, and fame were positively correlated with texting frequency. 

In general, feelings of reflectiveness among people who text often have been on the decline since 2007.

While the researchers say there could be alternate explanations for these statistics, the pattern mirrors Nicholas Carr’s “shallowing” theory. Carr’s book about how technology shapes the mind first posited the question “Is Google making us stupid?”

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