SMS Texting Addiction: When Texting Never Stops

Published: 11th February 2008
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With the proliferation and widespread adoption of SMS technology comes problems unheard of before. One such problem is texting addiction. It was reported that a Scandinavian therapy center, has treated around 60 addicts since 1998 and this number should have more than doubled by today.

Asia has not been spared either. According to Telecoms Korea, 3 out of 10 Korean high school students who carry mobile phones are reported to be addicted to mobile phones. The report also added, a big 21% of 270 high school students carrying mobile phones answered that they feel uneasy when their mobile phones are not in their hands and 8% of them said that they feel very irritated without mobile phones. 10% of the the students who responded already reported of soreness in the shoulder or wrist. This is repetitive strain injury - pressing tiny keyboards of mobile phones causes poor blood circulation and soreness in the shoulder.

The immediate effect of texting addiction, called by some as compulsive text messaging, is repetitive strain injury. This dries out the lubricating fluid between tendons of your hands, shoulders and wrists. Those showing this type of addiction are also prone to depression, anxiousness and sleep disorder, aside from the monetary effects to the person and his/her family.

Most people affected by this technology addiction are still on their denial stage claiming there is no such thing as texting addiction. In the early days of marijuana and cocaine, addiction also went unrecognized until people realized they were addicted into it and it was already too late for them to respond logically.

Why are people quick to look down on alcoholics or drug addicts, but then go out and spend 12 hours in Internet chatrooms? Compulsive text messaging are sending people to clinics for treating their technology addictions. And this number is rising.

The World Health Organization has defined addiction as a pathological relationship with a mood-altering substance or experience that has life damaging consequences. So this means an addiction need not be with a mood-altering substance like marijuana or alcohol but it could also be an activity like Internet chatting or SMS text messaging. People should start getting serious about this problem. Somebody close to you may be suffering from it but you refuse to recognize its existence. Learn to be aware of the common symptoms like denial, tolerance, withdrawal, obsession, compulsion, and isolation. These symptoms are common in almost all addictions.

Everyday, we've seen new SMS applications introduced into the market. The market for SMS texting is getting more profitable intended to make us grasp as much of this technology in our everday existence. The more SMS texting becomes a part of us, the more addicting it will become, the more problems we will have to deal with in the future. Simply, treat technology as a tool and never an extension of our lives. As long as we keep on that perspective, chances of being manipulated by these latest gadgets, gizmos and applications will be slim.

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