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Text A Lot? You’re A Jerk

NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images

There must be a bunch of people who, as children, say to themselves, “When I grow up, I want to be one of those people who conducts studies ” because yet again, we have another study. This time, it’s determined what excessive texting “says” about a person.

It turns out people who frequently text (and by people, we mean the ones “studied” in this study) are shallow, self-involved, and even prone to racism. By “frequently,” we’re talking texting more than one hundred times a day, and apparently, people who do this are more interested in wealth and vanity instead of virtuous, selfless interests.

Psychology professors Paul Trapnell and Lisa Sinclair of the University of Winnipeg conducted the study, which found that students who send out more than 100 texts a day are “30 percent less likely to value living an ‘ethical, principled life,’” contrasted with those who text 50 or less times a day. The study also showed that “heavy texters exhibited higher levels of ethnic prejudice.”

This date was obtained by researchers from over two thousand freshman psychology students who participated in online surveys regarding life goals, personality traits and their own texting frequency. Roughly 30 percent reported that they  text 200 or more times daily, while 12 percent said they text more than 300 times a day.

This is all fine and good, and seems to support a hypothesis that spending too much time with social media and the Internet can lead to focusing too much on one’s self and ignoring others (see Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”).

But I’m curious: why did these researchers give their subjects an online test?! Didn’t that just make them spend even more time on the Internet, focusing on themselves?

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