Generation Next Blog
Texting can be good for you
This study contrasts a rash of research suggesting social media and overuse of technology causes depression and can lower self-esteem. Unlike those studies, which focused on people who use mobile technology and social networks to compare themselves to others, the UC Berkeley texting study focused on person-to-person communication, which may account for the divergent results.Instead of causing isolation, text messaging can help forge healthy relationships and leave people feeling more connected, even if their communication is limited to simple, short digital notes.Short texts have impact in other ways beyond everyday mood. Affirmative text messages help smokers kick the habit by offering encouragement, and this study shows quick bursts of communication can also help people struggling with mental health problems, or even simply raise the spirits of someone having a bad day. Perhaps therapists in the future will hold text-only sessions?The rise of constant communication is creating a world where real-life and online identities blur, as do the lines between work and home. This can stress people out and create problems, but the benefits of access to positive affirmations and mental health professionals should not be overlooked. As this study shows, technology can make a positive impact on emotional well-being.