Texting is still a dominant way of staying in touch with friends and family, but has there been enough study into the long-term effects of constantly texting?
Yes, and your habitual brain may not like what the studies suggest. For many people, checking their phones every few seconds can be hard to resist, but for many of them, texting is a drug—an addiction. We feel compelled to check or send messages throughout the day. And it may turn destructive in a ton of ways.
Studies have shown that text messaging can impact our memory retention and cause higher levels of anxiety. Longer texts may lead to mental fatigue, which could impact decision-making in daily life and at work.
When you text, all of your texts become brain commands. As you read, your brain is trying to comprehend the text, the words’ meanings, and how they relate to one another. Your brain will get more adept at using this method of processing the information as you text more frequently. And gradually, if you don’t deliberately adjust your behavior, it will affect how you see and react to ordinary situations.
Texting is a great way to interact quickly and easily, but it might not always be the best option for you. This method of information processing will become ingrained in your brain, and it will be hard to break the habit.
Studies show that texting can affect your memory by stimulating the reward areas of the brain. This can happen when you receive information via instant message rather than through verbal communication. If texting starts to become a part of your daily routine, the combination of all these elements may have a detrimental effect on your memory, making it difficult for you to study or remember discussions and meetings.
Our brain waves take on a very unique rhythm when we text. It makes it easier for us to process the information we get nonverbally. Each text also stimulates our brains’ senses of attention and emotion. It kind of reshapes our sensory processing. It kind of makes one speedy in texting as well as sloppy too, by being careless about the current surroundings while texting.
To find out more about how our brains work during textual communication using smartphones, a team led by Mayo Clinic researcher William Tatum analyzed data from 129 patients in 2016.
Electroencephalograms (EEGs) and video recordings were used to monitor their brain waves during a 16-month period. About one in five patients who were using their smartphone to text while having their brain waves analyzed showed a distinct “texting rhythm,” according to Dr. Tatum.
In addition to attention and cognitive function assessments, the researchers had the patients participate in activities including texting, tapping, and audio cell phone use. The newly discovered brain rhythm, which was different from any previously mentioned brain rhythm, was only triggered by texting.
The unique combination of mental activity with a physical and auditory-verbal neural activity that characterizes the texting rhythm as compared to other types of mental stimulation may be the cause. It was revealed that iPad users also have a “texting rhythm.”
The research proposes that the smaller screens of mobile hand-held devices, which require greater concentration, maybe the reason for the existence of a different brain wave rhythm while using them. In an article that was published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior, Dr. Tatum stated, “There is now a biological reason why people shouldn’t text and drive—texting can change brain waves,” Dr. Tatum added in a paper published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.
Texters who use social media regularly find it harder to block off distractions in general. Not only does this have a negative impact on cognitive function, but it also leads the brain’s attention-related areas to shrink. This ability of the brain to change is called neuroplasticity, and it has a big effect on your attention and cognitive function.
From a physics and natural perspective, we are not made to read and make sense of texts like this. We are made to make sense of words, sentences, and conversations we hear in the physical world.
In a study funded by the National Science Foundation, researcher Ping Li stated, “Our understanding of science concepts is very different from reading a story where there’s a plot. Scientific texts are complex, and they require the reader to develop a representation, what we call a “situation model,” which is basically a mental representation of the complex relationship between the concepts.
But Li said little is known about how our brains process these texts—also known as expository texts—or what makes some people better at understanding them than others.
Li suspects that texting is the most damaging, more damaging than just reading e-books.
“The reason being, if you are texting all day long, you are just engaged in sort of fragmented information processing,” Li said. “Because when texting your friend, it’s just a very simple message. You do need to connect what you text now with what you do downstream a few minutes later. So you are not doing any real integration across the ideas or concepts. “
In other words, our ability to integrate ideas into a cohesive whole, which is essential when reading scientific materials, worsens with age.
Reading messages while texting makes it difficult for the brain to focus and think. Due to the delays it generates in the brain’s reaction time, texting is a type of communication that uses very little mental energy. We can record talks even while our phones are off and keep track of many chats at once. We often opt to do what we actually want to achieve over what is best for our bodies and minds because of the constant temptation to multitask.
Texting addiction is a consequence of the reward system; the brain being continuously and endlessly stimulated. The brain systems that regulate motivation, emotion, and pleasure are affected by the reward center. When someone texts or uses their phone frequently, certain pathways shift and a new shortcut to the same feelings is created. As a result, a person develops a mindset where they are unable to concentrate on anything else until they check their phone.
Memory, intelligence, concentration, temper, and personality are all significantly influenced by the prefrontal cortex. This brain area, which is situated in the frontal cortex, is crucial for learning, impulse control, and attention regulation.
For instance, a person who has prefrontal brain damage could have emotional reactions that are blunted. Even worse, they could struggle to initiate activities and become hostile and impatient. Last but not least, they could struggle with jobs that call for long-term planning and impulse control.
If you are accustomed to texting right before bed, the detrimental impact simply intensifies. First off, using a phone right before bed reduces melatonin levels and makes it hard to fall asleep.
A “dopamine loop” is produced by texting. Having too much dopamine concentrated is linked with being impulsive, aggressive, and more competitive.
A high dopamine level at night is inappropriate. The effects of norepinephrine are then inhibited when dopamine interacts with its receptors, which results in a reduction in the generation and release of melatonin.
Even if you feel like you are sleeping well, melatonin is required to rebuild your brain’s neurotransmitters, which are the basic building blocks of the brain. An imbalance in your neurotransmitters, such as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), GABA, and DA, might result from a lack of melatonin or decreased production.
Because it changes the brain’s capacity for learning and being in the present, texting is an addiction. Although it makes us feel fantastic, it ultimately causes harm. It reinforces itself, which makes it more challenging to stop. Either we can change by learning how to smile and retrain our brains to avoid these addictive behaviors, or we can give in and continue texting.
Our eyes (and thoughts) behave like a car on a twisting road when we text, use social media or stare at any screen for an extended amount of time. It is impossible for us to focus in two directions at once if we are also doing other activities.
As the world becomes ever more dependent on mobile phones and computer screens, it is crucial to understand how these gadgets affect our health, particularly our brain structure and cognitive ability. Scientists have found that the brain of a teenager is still developing and is therefore more prone to damage from constant texting.
[Summary: Constantly texting has a negative impact on cognitive function and leads the brain’s attention-related areas to shrink. Using a phone right before bed reduces melatonin levels and makes it hard to fall asleep. Reading messages while texting makes it difficult for the brain to focus and think. Texting addiction is a consequence of the reward system in which the brain is continuously and endlessly stimulated.]
Nutsel.com does not guarantee or provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The content is not written by health care professionals and has not been reviewed by a doctor. If you have questions about your health, you should consult with your doctor.
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