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6 bad texting habits to avoid
A new study says texting a period is bad for your social life. Here are six different research-backed dangers of texting. - photo by Herb Scribner
You may have been texting wrong by being grammatically correct.

A new study by researchers at Binghamton University found that people perceive text messages that end with a period as less sincere.

No one likes receiving a text with a period attached to the end, Mashable reported on the study. Sure, it might be grammatically correct, but people really will think you're a jerk.

The researchers had 126 Binghamton undergraduates read a collection of text message conversations which either began with questions and ended with statements that included a period, or ones that specifically didnt have punctuation and measured their responses, the studys press release said.

Through the responses, the researchers found that people viewed texts with a period as less sincere than those that didnt have a period at the end.

"Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on," Celia Klin, associate professor of psychology and associate dean at Binghamton University's Harpur College, said in the statement. People obviously can't use these mechanisms when they are texting. Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation."

But periods arent the only part of texting thats received a negative review. Heres a look at six other texting habits that research says can be harmful.

Too much texting can lead to sleeping problems

A new study from Washington and Lee University found that too much texting by freshman college students often leads to sleeping problems, Science Daily reported.

The study, which looked at the stresses that college students face especially in their first year, found that students who participated in heavy texting faced health issues like burnout, sleep problems and emotional well-being more often, Science Daily reported.

The study said students may already be stressed out for other reasons. Still, those who texted more had more sleeping issues and stress-caused problems.

These correlational findings provide an initial indication that heavy text messaging could be problematic during times of stress, researcher Karla Murdock said to Science Daily. Although speculative, it could be argued that text messaging is a uniquely unsuitable mode of communication for coping with interpersonal stress in close relationships.

Late-night texting can lead to insomnia and bad academic performance

A study released earlier this year in the Journal of Adolescence found that those who text late at night are more likely to be sleep deprived and do worse in school, New York Daily News reported.

The researchers surveyed about 3,300 high school and middle school students about their texting habits and found that about 68 percent of teens feel that texting or using social media at night interfered with their sleep, with 61 percent saying that doing so interfered with their school work, New York Daily News explained.

Bedtime smartphone use is associated with insomnia, daytime sleepiness, shorter sleep duration and poor school grades, Sushanth Bhat, one of the researchers, said. Since getting the proper amount of sleep is very important for brain development and learning in the teenage years, our study should prompt parents and guardians to consider placing reasonable limitations on adolescent smartphone usage at night."

Compulsive texting hurts academic performance among girls

Research from the American Psychological Association found that female teens who compulsively text are linked to worse academic performance than boys who do the same.

The researchers surveyed 403 students 211 girls, 192 boys from grades eight to 11 and looked at how much texting interfered with their ability to work on tasks, how concerned they were with texting in general and how honest they were about their texting behavior, APA reported. Students then took a questionnaire about their academic performance.

Only girls showed a negative association between this type of texting and school performance, which included grades, school bonding and feeling academically competent, APA explained.

This is likely because girls use texting for social purposes but boys use it for obtaining information, APA reported.

Girls in this developmental stage also are more likely than boys to ruminate with others or engage in obsessive, preoccupied thinking across contexts, the studys lead researcher Kelly M. Lister-Landman, Ph.D, said. Therefore, it may be that the nature of the texts girls send and receive is more distracting, thus interfering with their academic adjustment.

Texting while driving has a lot of dangers

As smartphone use has increased in our daily lives, so has the bad habit of texting while driving, which has been associated with a number of problematic issues, wrote The Huffington Posts Erin Schumaker, who listed statistics that highlighted the dangers of texting and driving.

For example, about nine Americans die every day from texting, eating or using a cellphone while driving, which is why 1 in 4 car crashes involve a cellphone, The Huffington Post reported.

More so, about 40 percent of teens have said that they were driving with someone who put their lives at risk by using a cellphone in the car, The Huffington Post reported.

Texting while walking slows you down

There are some dangers to walking and texting at the same time, according to a study published earlier this year, especially because texting can slow you down.

The study, in which researchers asked 30 people to go through an obstacle course three times while texting or using their phones to complete puzzles, found that people were slower when they were texting and walking, Reuters reported. Researchers were surprised, though, that the participants were less likely to crash into things on the obstacle course.

Though they didnt trip or fall on the course, participants were forced to act more cautiously, which made them move a lot slower, Reuters reported.

Its very hard for the brain to handle multiple tasks at the same time, and walking through the obstacle course in this study required people to negotiate things like steps that require some cognitive complexity to complete while they were also distracted by texting," researcher David Schwebel told Reuters.

Texting at a certain angle can be bad for your back

Theres a lot more than social pressure when it comes to texting. A study published in the Surgical Technology Enervation found that texting can add about 50 pounds of pressure on someones spine, especially when they text with their neck facing downward, Medical Daily reported.

Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine, Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, a spinal and orthopedic surgeon, wrote in the study.

Normally, your back doesnt experience any issues when your ears are at the same level as your shoulders, Medical Daily explained. But when you tip your neck and ears forward to text, it puts pressure to your spine.

At zero degrees of tilt, the resting pressure is equal to the weight of the persons head: roughly 10 to 12 pounds. But for each 15 degrees of tilt, the pressure increases, Medical Daily reported. At 15 degrees, a person feels 27 pounds of pressure; at 30 degrees, it ups to 40 pounds; at 45 degrees, 49 pounds; and at 60 degrees, a person should feel roughly 60 pounds of force on the spine.

The researchers suggest users consciously think of how theyre texting to avoid these issues.

While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over, Hansraj said.