A new study at the Riverdale Country School showed things like texting and Facebook were more like drugs than hobbies for many teenagers. After a study released by the University of Maryland showed that many college students actually showed signs of withdrawal, the school decided to implement a two-day experiment where students weren't allowed to text, IM, or go on Facebook. Somehow, they survived.
When students were asked why they text or IM so frequently, most said it was just because they wanted to. However, school counselor K C Cohen said the experiment was to prove that things like texting can be a crutch for important development. "Kids will do poorly on a test, and more often than not, right away they’ll go into the bathroom and text their mom and dad," she told the Times. "There's no sense that the kid just has to feel his feelings. It's an instant Band-Aid." Though it may be a nice bonus of texting that kids reach out to their parents more, Cohen believes it deprives them of the struggle for independence every adolescent needs to go through.
The initial study showed that many college students rely on Facebook as their main way to keep in touch with friends, with one student saying not being "able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable," even though he or she goes to school with literally thousands of other people. They also tend to get most of their news from blogs (holla!) and Twitter, and show no allegiance to specific sources or reporters. However, the Riverdale experiment showed these teenagers rebounded from techno-dependency much faster than their college counterparts might. Many finished their homework faster without constantly responding to texts or Facebook messages, and in many cases spent their extra time with their parents. Human contact: it's the wave of the future.