People are doing it at work. They're doing it in the car. They're doing it in the shower. And, it turns out, in a whole lot of inappropriate places. We're talking, of course, about texting. A new poll from Penn State Harrisburg finds that college students even admit to texting during religious services, funerals, and sex (giving a whole new meaning to the term "sexting").
Yet as associate psychology professor Marissa Harrison, PhD, found, the people surveyed were fully aware they were doing wrong, but couldn't resist the lure of the screen. The urge may date back to our caveman ancestors, noted Harrison, who needed to be on constant alert for behemoths.
"We are all programmed to notice movement and change," she said in a release, "so maybe those buzzes and bells of texting, just like certain sounds that used to indicate the charging of a predator, for example, reinforce the need to find out what is going on." Make that a very pressing need; of the 152 students surveyed, 34% said they sent and received 100 or more text messages a day.
Hardly any parts of life are text-free anymore. Even sleep texting has become a thing; CNN has noted that Twitter users admit to nonsensical messages with the tag #sleeptexting. Alarmingly, a 2014 study from last summer found that texting while walking (aka "wexting") can pose a significant distraction to pedestrians and leave them vulnerable to harm. The habit's not only dangerous, it can be downright embarrassing; perhaps you've seen that video of the woman in a mall walking, texting, and tumbling into a water fountain.
To be sure, texting makes life easier and more fun. But, yeah, let's keep it safe—and let's keep some situations sacred. Your partner and dearly departed Aunt Bessie sure do deserve your undivided attention.