Conference Paper

Hyper-texting and hyper-networking: A new health risk category for teens?

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the prevalence "hyper-texting" (texting ≥120 time/school day) and "hyper-networking" (≥3 hours using online social network sites/school day) among adolescents and their association with health. Background: There is an increasing volume of teens using communication technology. It is unclear whether extremes of this behavior are associated with poorer health. Methods: This cross sectional survey of high school students (n=4257) in an urban Midwestern county included core Youth Risk Behavior Survey items with additional items to address communication technology and other health topics. Analysis includes descriptive statistics, Pearson chi-square, and logistic regression. Results: Hyper-texting (HT) was reported by 19.8% of teens, while 22.5% report no texting. Hyper-networking (HN) is reported by 11.5%, with 22.2% reporting no online social network involvement. HT/HN occurred more often among minority students; among females; in female headed households; and with lower socioeconomic status. Controlling for demographic factors, HT/HN were associated with higher levels of sexual activity, sex partners, perceived stress, suicidal ideation, alcohol use, binge drinking, tobacco use, and marijuana use. HT/HN students were more likely to be obese; demonstrate eating disordered behavior; miss school due to illness; have lower self-rated health; feel unsafe at school; and get less adequate sleep. Teen perception of parent attitudes regarding substance use and sex were more permissive with HT/HN. No texting or social networking was associated with better health outcomes. Minor differences between HT and HN are noted. Conclusion: Excessive use of communications technology among teens is related to higher levels of health risk behaviors and poorer health outcomes.

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The abundance of opinions about Millennials has made it very difficult to separate reality from conjecture, especially with regard to the suppositions made about their propensity towards technology. Labeled as digital natives, Millennials are thought to posses learning traits never before seen as a result of growing up in the digital information age. In this chapter, we present the findings of a study in which postsecondary students (N = 580) were surveyed to quantitatively investigate the differences between digital natives and digital immigrants. Findings revealed that of the ten traits investigated, only two showed significant difference, and of these two traits, only one favored the digital native notion, shedding doubt on the strong digital propensity claims made about today’s Millennials. Although differences were found, we cannot say with any certainty that there is an unambiguous delineation that merits the digital native and digital immigrant labels. The findings raise a variety of implications for institutions training pre-service teachers; educators interested in using digital media, devices, and social networks in their classroom; curriculum developers designing instructional material; educational leaders developing information and communication technology policy for school; and researchers investigating digital propensity with today’s youth.
Chapter
The abundance of opinions about Millennials has made it very difficult to separate reality from conjecture, especially with regard to the suppositions made about their propensity towards technology. Labeled as digital natives, Millennials are thought to posses learning traits never before seen as a result of growing up in the digital information age. In this chapter, we present the findings of a study in which postsecondary students (N = 580) were surveyed to quantitatively investigate the differences between digital natives and digital immigrants. Findings revealed that of the ten traits investigated, only two showed significant difference, and of these two traits, only one favored the digital native notion, shedding doubt on the strong digital propensity claims made about today’s Millennials. Although differences were found, we cannot say with any certainty that there is an unambiguous delineation that merits the digital native and digital immigrant labels. The findings raise a variety of implications for institutions training pre-service teachers; educators interested in using digital media, devices, and social networks in their classroom; curriculum developers designing instructional material; educational leaders developing information and communication technology policy for school; and researchers investigating digital propensity with today’s youth.
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