I spend a lot of time texting with my friends. Is it possible to be addicted to texting?

Texting is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, but since it is a less intimate form of communication, there can be drawbacks. You may feel pressure to respond as soon as you get a text message to show your friends that you care, but the important point to remember is that successful relationships need other, more direct connections in order to be meaningful. These connections can be as simple as talking over the phone, or in person, going out to a movie together, or playing on the same sports team.  If you feel as though texting is cutting into time that you’d like to spend doing something else, try some of these tips:

  • Put your phone away during dinner with your family or friends, and focus on real conversations.
  • Don’t go to bed with your phone, as it can disrupt your sleep—charge it overnight in a different room.
  • Take a break as soon as you notice any hand or arm pain, or if your eyes are bothering you.
  • Make sure that you have face to face “real”  interactions with your friends, and not just texting.

If you feel that your texting is getting in the way of other activities that you would like to do, talk with a trusted adult and make an appointment with your health care provider.

If you have other questions about social media, Ask the Mediatrician.

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