My brief forays into the topic of teens and texting (here) and (here) led me to some interesting (well, actually disturbing) articles on just what the psychological effects of too much cell phone/PDA use can be on the developing mind. As a brief summary, psychologists are now worried that too much texting may be: decreasing teens’ ability to think and write; increasing their anxiety levels; and interfering with their sleep and face-to-face social skills. One psychologist has even theorized that the constant interruptions created by texting interferes with the peace and quiet that teens need to grow emotionally and think through the issues with which adolescents typically deal (meaning, I presume, issues having to do with identify, autonomy, and the meaning of life).
But how is texting affecting adults? I know in my own life, getting a Blackberry made some things easier (thumbs up on being able to check work emails anytime, anyplace) and some things harder (thumbs down on the fragmented concentration that comes from being able to check work emails anytime, anyplace). And as someone who routinely juggles work calls, work IMs and work emails at my desk simultaneously, I’ve pretty much said “no” to the idea of setting up instant messaging on my PDA — I just can’t imagine trying to navigate the world with a device that’s delivering calls, emails, and the demands of IM (answer me now! answer me now!) at the same time.
But how has having a PDA affected your ability to concentrate, work, be productive — and be emotionally present to those around you? Inquiring minds (especially mine) want to know.