Children and Adolescents

Shame: The Difference Between Men and Women

Posted on December 26, 2012. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Healing, Lifestyle, Men, Parenting Tips, Relationship, Sex & Intimacy, Trauma, Women | Tags: , , |

Since men and women experience shame differently, it is important to understand how it may play out in a romantic relationship with your partner.

shame girlTypically shame presents itself in woman as having to do it all, do it perfectly, and never let others see you sweat.  For women, shame is a web of unobtainable conflicting competing expectations of who they are supposed to be.

boy ashamedAlternatively, men feel the pressure of not being perceived as weak or needing.  They are encouraged to be vulnerable, yet get ridiculed and beaten up if they fall or fail.  For men shame is a competition, a game of proving yourself, and the pressure to hold in emotions or not show sensitivity or softer emotions. And thus the automatic and familiar emotion that is expressed is anger, irritability or violence.

If you would like assistance in reducing the shame you experience in your life and improving your sense of self-worth contact True Potential Counseling to schedule an appointment today.

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Distorted Thinking Patterns

Posted on April 17, 2012. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Health, Lifestyle, Relationship | Tags: , , , , |

How and what we think influence the feelings we have about ourselves, our relationships and the world around us.  Sometimes our natural thinking tendencies are positive; however, if our habitual thinking patterns are distorted or pessimistic in nature it can damage not only our own mental well-being but also the relationships around us.

Often times our style of thinking is so automatic we are not even consciously aware our toxic thought process.  By learning to recognize our automatic thoughts, eliminate thought distortions and replace them with realistic and balanced thoughts we can begin to create a more enjoyable and rewarding life.

Automatic Thought and Our Body

Our physiological system is wired for survival; therefore, whether we are experiencing a real threat OR an imagined threat the amygdala in our brain sends a smoke alarm signal to the body that our survival and livelihood is in danger; and either need to “fight or flee” the situation.

For example, if the amygdala receives the following message “being in this traffic is killing me and if I do not arrive to my meeting in the next 5 minutes I will lose my job” the brain believes that your livelihood is being threatened and the body automatically becomes activated.

Our cognitive thought process is so automatic and unconscious that we are not able to identify them unless we engage our orbital frontal cortex (OFC).  Our OFT allows us to make decision by rationally disputing and evaluating our circumstances.  By becoming conscious of our distorted thinking patterns, we can begin challenging these emotional thoughts and transform them from panic to serenity.

Distorted Thinking Patterns

Here’s the 10 distorted thinking patterns according to Dr. Burns.  Burns writes:

  • All-Or-Nothing Thinking – You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
  • Overgeneralization – You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  • Mental Filter – You pick out a single negative defeat and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that colors the entire beaker of water.
  • Disqualifying the positive – You dismiss positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
  • Jumping to conclusions – You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.
    A. Mind reading. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out.
    B. The fortune teller error. You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
  • Magnification (Catastrophizing) or Minimization– You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”
  • Emotional Reasoning – You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.
  • Should Statements – You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
  • Labeling and Mislabeling – This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him: “He’s a goddam louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
  • Personalization – You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.

Now What’s the Game Plan?

When you notice yourself having a physiological reaction (i.e. heart palpitation, shortness of breath, headache, etc.) or an emotional reaction (i.e. feeling sad, angry or anxious) identify what you are telling yourself.  It is most likely your pattern of thought fall into one of these distorted thinking categories above.

Identify the common distorted thinking patterns you gravitate towards and begin to challenge them.  You can challenge your automatic thoughts and replacing them with more balanced and realistic ones by practicing the following exercise 5 Simple Steps to Thinking Positive.  By doing so you will gradually create a balanced and optimistic thought process that empowers you and improves the quality of both your internal and external world.

If you found this post helpful, please forward it onto your network of friends and family.  For more information on how you can receive one-on-one assistance in changing your negative thought patterns to more balanced and realistic patterns of thought you can contact me at True Potential Counseling.

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Top 6 Triggers for Over-eating and Helpful Suggestions

Posted on February 21, 2012. Filed under: Addiction, Children and Adolescents, Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , |


1. “I Am Bored Out Of My Mind.”– You eat when you’re bored or do not have anything interesting to do or look forward to.

Solution: Prepare some healthy snacks like cut up fruit or vegetables and leave them in the fridge. If you decide to grab something to eat why not eat a healthy treat.

2. “I Shouldn’t Eat That.” Societal messages glorifying the importance of thinness has led to restrictive dieting tendencies in teens and young adults. By creating rules and guidelines around which foods are forbidden, it can lead to an endless cycle of restriction, breaking “the plan” and then feeling guilty and self-loathing as a result. To numb the negative feelings either the cycle of over-indulgence in restricted food continues or one may engage in harmful restricting or purging behaviors to try to cope.

Solution: Focus instead on healthy eating habits and exercise habits in general. Become aware of distorted thinking patterns and begin to challenge them or get a more balanced and realistic point of view. Focus on your overall physical well-being and health. Remember no harm will be done if you allow yourself to eat foods high in fat in moderation occasionally. Maintain a normal blood sugar level by eating small amounts every 3 hours. If binging, purging or restricting are occurring, seek advice from a Licensed Professional Counselor or Psychologist as these compulsive behaviors have very serious health risks attached to them.

3. “I Don’t Have Any Energy.”– After spending your day studying, working or both, you feel drained and tired. When you are experiencing low levels of energy you may reach for food to give us a boost. Feeling stressed or lacking vitality may cause you to reach for foods high in sugar, salt or carbohydrates. Although this may give us energy in the short-term, in the long-term it results in a depletion of energy.

Solution: Give yourself proper nutrition on a regulate basis to improve your energy level. Reach for foods high in vitamins and nutrients such as protein, nuts, fruits and vegetable, and carbohydrates high in fiber to give you some get up and go. Become aware of your low-energy periods of the day and substitute them with other activities for eating. Participate in alternative behaviors like taking a walk, chatting with friends, taking a break and getting a drink of water, relaxing, reading a book or listening to music that is positive and energizing.

4. Habits– Your daily routine is not as healthy as it could be and your habits may be so automatic that you are not even aware of them. If we have difficulty managing stress or have a lack of physical activity we may feel out of balance. Excessive eating may become an unhealthy coping mechanism for dealing with emotions. Since overeating could have a ritualistic nature, your tendencies can occur at specific times in the day or in particular places.

Solution: Begin incorporating stress reduction tactics into your daily routine (i.e. exercise, yoga, meditation, journal, watch a funny movie, etc.). Become aware of your triggers and tendencies and change you routine.  Get a hobby that interests you. Address feelings of depression, anger and anxiety and reach out to a friend or a Licensed Professional Counselor for help.

5. “I Hate My Body.” If you are having difficulty accepting your body you may only be focusing on what is wrong and missing the big picture. There can be various thought distortions like: all-or-nothing thinking, over-generalization or catastrophic thinking, which are skewing your perspective and causing you to have an irrational view of yourself, the world, or the situation.

Solution: Seek professional advice from a dietitian or psychologist who will help you overcome these feelings of self-loathing and map out a plan to increase your self-esteem and improve your body-image. Identify your gifts, qualities and talents that you possess and celebrate those gifts daily.

6. Feeling Stressed Out!!!– You have pressures coming at you from different directions and are left feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. You spend a lot of your energy trying to live up to other people’s expectations or feel discouraged by other people’s remarks that you are exhausted. If you tend to be a perfectionist you may set such high and unrealistic expectations that you feel constantly defeated. Reaching for comfort food may be a way of coping with feeling out of control in your internal world.

Solution: Have compassion for yourself and take time out of your daily schedule to focus on self-care and relaxation is vital to your overall well-being. When our bodies are in a constant state of high alert our body releases toxic chemicals such as adrenaline, hormones, and cortisol. In order to prevent your stress level from passing the threshold, is important to give yourself permission to slow down. 

Take 5 minutes to breath and activate the parasympathetic system that calms down your central nervous system. Only then will your body be able to restore its natural balance and regulate your emotional and physiological system.

Learning to manage your emotions can lead to long-term success in life, instead of the temporary solution of turning to food or compulsive behaviors to cope. If you feel emotional eating is a problem, it may be wise to work with a counselor trained in eating disorders to help you create a healthy lifestyle and improve your quality of life.

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3 Tips For Parents Dealing With Difficult Kids

Posted on December 20, 2011. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Health, Parenting Tips, Relationship | Tags: , , , |

First it is important to evaluate what issues are going on at home or at school that may be triggering your child’s problematic behavior.  For example, if there is discord or arguing at home or if your child is being teased or bullied at school you child’s behavior may be his/her way of expressing his/her grief and frustration about his/her life circumstance.  Moreover, your child may be trying to regain a sense of control by rebelling against you as the authority figure.   Although you can be sensitive and compassionate to your child’s pain, keep in mind that these are two separate issues and should be addressed separately. Below I offer 3 tips that can help you regain your authority as a parent and provide you with some practical ways to deal with your child’s difficult behavior.

1. Ask yourself, “What Do I Want My Child To Learn?”: Your role as a parent is very similar to the role of a teacher.  When dealing with your child’s difficult behavior, it is important to think about what you want to teach your child whenever you want to get a message across to them.  For instance, if they are struggling with getting their homework in on time, teaching them organizational skills or time management skills would be helpful.

2.  Setting Limits- Setting boundaries with your child does not mean that you are being uncaring, but rather are being practical and realistic about what is and what is not possible. As a parent do you ever fall into the emotional trap of guilt, fear, frustration or reactivity? If so, you are not alone.  A simple way to avoid getting caught up in the emotional parenting trap is by focusing on your child’s behavior, rather than on the emotional state of the moment.  This will provide you with a compass on how to maneuver through the situation, because you will no longer be getting caught up in the power struggles, the emotional drama, or the internal guilt trip that clouds your judgment, but rather will be able to address the real problem; your child’s disruptive behavior at home. Also be aware of your child’s ability to turn one parent against the other and prevent this from happening by remaining a united parental team.

3.  Establish New Rules- You teach your child how to treat you. You child is behaving negatively because they have the perception and attitude that you as the parent have lost control.  You can begin reclaiming your role as the parent and your sense of control by clearly establishing new rules in the household and defining what behaviors are unacceptable.  Then outline the consequences that will ensue as a result of his/her behavior and FOLLOW THROUGH on those consequences. This part if very important.  If you want your child to begin taking you seriously, you too need to be serious and follow-through on the consequences that you establish.  If not, the same behavior will continue to occur, leaving you powerless and a hostage in your own home.  The choice is yours.

Please feel free to comment below on how these tips were beneficial and share techniques you have used that have been successful.  For more information please visit my website at http://www.truepotentialcounseling.com/go/contact/

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Breast-feeding solutions

Posted on December 28, 2010. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Health, Parenting Tips, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Breast-feeding at the beginning can be a nightmare and is far from being easy or natural.  Since it is so painful and comes with various problems, it is calculated that only 43% of moms are breast-feeding at six months.  Some common challenges are: swollen breasts, sore nipples, newborn babies crying, baby’s stomach being swollen, the baby not latching on correctly, baby not gaining enough weight, low supply of milk, abnormal symptoms for the baby such as the poop being frothy, green or bloody.  In addition many couple’s also struggle with lack of sleep, irritability, and  interpersonal conflicts.  

Some solutions for these array of obstacles are the following:

SWOLLEN BREASTS and SORE NIPPLES:  It is suggested to apply warm compresses to your breasts prior and after feedings or whenever you feel pain.  Another option is to soak in a warm tub of water to help relieve the pain.  An alternative is to alternate between ice packs and warm compresses if you are not breastfeeding.  Since Using an ice pack will inhibit milk flow this therapy is not suggested only before feedings.  Hydration is also very important.  Drinking at least eight to ten 8 oz. glasses of water every day is recommended.   Also be sure to eat a diet high in fiber and vitamin C.  This will help remove toxins from the body and keep your skin hydrated.  Stay away from spicy or processed foods, since this can slow down your digestion and create further inflammation.

STOMACH ISSUES:   If your newborn is having stomach issues there is a high likelihood that they are having a reaction to the premilk, this is a thin white fluid discharged from the breasts at the beginning of milk production, which is full of sugar and can irritate a baby’s stomach.  It is suggested to get rid of the initial premilk and then innitiate breast-feeding so your newborn will only drink the hindmilk,  which contains less sugar.  This will significantly decrease the stomach issues your child experiences.

NOT LATCHING ON:  If your baby is not latching on correctly your newborn will not get the nutrition necessary for increased body weight.  It is recommended to take the baby of and on until he or she latches on properly.  You can do so by putting your finger under her chin to feel her chin moving.  You will also want to look for a wiggle at her ears when he or she eats and to listen to your baby swallowing to ensure that the baby is receiving the milk properly.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend moms breast-feed for at least a year, especially the first 6 months.  Since the milk contains antibodies to fight infection and develop a healthy immune system, there are significant health benefits for the baby such as: fewer cases of ear infections, reduction in the amount of possbile respitory problems and less gastrointestinal problems.  It is noted that children also do better academically later in life if they were breastfed and received the nutritional benefits in the early developmental stages of their life.

Visit www.TruePotentialCounseling.com for more details.

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The Bullies vs. The Underdog

Posted on August 31, 2010. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Parenting Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

In 1972 social Psychologist Irving Janis coined the term group think, which is a pattern of faulty decision making because of group pressures leading to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.”  Groups, such youth, gangs, and affiliated groups, affected by group think ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups.  A group is especially vulnerable to group think when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.

What students, parents and other adults can do when they see this behavior?  Evidence shows that bullying peaks in middle school and contrary to societal beliefs, female bullying is on the rise.  Parents can help develop and increase self-esteem of the child and learn effective parents and communication skills.  Teaching values and principles of respect, trust, understanding, communication, self-esteem, how to cooperate and defend themselves, turn schools into genuine communities, teach kindness. 

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program was implemented in 1983 in Norway after 2 teenage victims of bullying committed suicide.  In order to address this pressing problem in the school system, teachers, janitors, and bus drivers were all trained in identifying instances of bullying and taught how to intervene.  In addition, children in every grade participated in a weekly classroom discussion about friendship and conflict and parents were involved in the process from the beginning.  As a result of this “It Takes a Village To Raise a Child” philosophy reports of being bullied and bullying of others was drastically reduced by 50%.  Not only did the peer and teacher ratings of bullying problems yield similar results, but there was also a marked reductions in student reports of general antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, fighting, theft, and truancy.  There were clear improvements in the classroom social climate, as reflected in students’ reports of improved order and discipline, more positive social relationships, and more positive attitudes toward schoolwork and school.  Dr. Dan Olweus, is the pioneer of bully prevention and more information can be found on http://www.olweus.org.

By society choosing not to tolerate bullying and the community taking action in addressing this issue directly, not only will improvements be found in the school community, but in our community generations to come.  Parents can decrease the odds of violent or bullying behavior by creating a nurturing environment where the child feels loved, important, safe and secure.  A strong and secure attachment with parents and other role models enables a child to explore the world and establish healthy relationships with others.  Encouraging empathy at an early age is paramount.  On the contrary, parental neglect, abuse, a highly critical or chaotic home life may have the opposite effect.  Children who are exposed to violence at home are more likely to bully.  Student learning leadership and respect skills so they can have the skills to think independently, develop awareness and mindfulness skills so they can speak to a school representative, stand up for the underdog.  The help that is available and how my approach can assist children and adolescents affected by bullying or past traumas.

This morning I was interviewed on NPR on the subject of bullying behaviors and how we as a society can address this issue and how to recognize the signs.  http://kjzz.org/news/arizona/archives/201008/ME_Bullying.  Please feel free to comment your thoughts below.

Visit www.TruePotentialCounseling.com for more details.

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Bullying Evolution

Posted on August 29, 2010. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Parenting Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Bullying today is much different in form, method and context than the bullying of the past.  Although the concept of victim and perpetrator has always been apart of our human primal instinct for centuries, the wired world of today poses unique dangers to kids because bullying and harassment are now able to be done online and offline.

Contrary to the bullying of the past, where bullies would be a few key recognizable individuals or gangs that posed a threat, the bullies of today use a variety of emotionally and physically abusive behaviors that negatively impact the self-esteem of fellow classmates.  Some behaviors consist of verbal insults, threats, pushing, shoving, grabbing, slapping,  kicking, biting, hitting, treats with knifes or guns, using knifes or guns, and theft.  Unfortunately, bullying exists because it works and is positively reinforced by the sense of power and importance gained after a victimization of another person has taken place.  It is vitally important for children at an early age to gain a sense of importance through nurturing, quality time and love from parents and positive role models as a preventative measure for future bullying.

On the contrary, in the 1940’s the major discipline concerns of the time were: talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise, running in the hall, cutting in line, dress code violations, and littering.  In the 1950’s the image of bullying is clearly depicted in the hit t.v. show Little Rascals that portrays Butch as the neighborhood tyrant, regularly tormenting members of the fun-loving mischievous group.

In the 1990’s the top disciplinary problems in schools had shifted dramatically to: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, suicide, rape, robbery and assault.   On April 20, 1999 the world watched in shock the massacre at Columbine High School.  As a result of relentless bullying these children took the law into their own hands and retaliated with the use of violence and killed several students and teachers on campus.  And today in 2010’s after the death of Pheobe Prince, we are reevaluating as a society the effects of bullying on the livelyhood of our youth.  The associated press/MTV conducted a survey on “sexting” which revealed that 30% of 14-24 year olds had been involved in some sort of sexual text-messaging and 18% had received a naked picture or video of someone they knew from that person.  With today’s modern technology electronic media has yielded another mode of attack: cyberbullying, such as intimidating someone via text messaging, email or posting on social media sites such as MySpace of Facebook.

From a research study conducted by Snell and Volokh in 2005 it is hypothesized that what causes of bullying and intimidation is due to: poverty, breakdown of families, domestic violence, child abuse, society-wide violence, drug culture, population mobility (anonymity), violent cultural imagery, materialism and advertising, competitiveness and high expectations from parent (which leads to loss of the child’s identity).

In order to address the bullying epidemic we need to address various components of the behavior.  First, creating a sense of community and accountability in our society by adopting and proactively applying the principles that it takes a villiage to raise a child.  Secondly, in the schools by incorporating education on communication, self-esteem, respect, trust, empathy, conflict resolution skills as well as a disciplinary system that sets clear expectations and consequences for bullying behavior.  Parents teaching these same principles at home and seeking parent training courses so they can create an effective framework in the home environment.  Lastly and most importantly, the child working with with a counselor and/or mentor to improve self-esteem, build up confidence, learn effective strategies, develop assertiveness skills, and the discernment to choose friends that foster and support their personal growth.

If you are interested in finding out more information, please visit my website at www.TruePotentialCounseling.com

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The Bullying Effect

Posted on August 28, 2010. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Parenting Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Bullying involves threats, torments or physical harm involving children and adolescents and is often used to intimidate others as a means to gain social status or for appearance purposes.  It is rooted in the mentality that I’m okay and you are not okay.  The negative traumatic impact cyber bullying can have on children is that a child may view themselves as less than desireable and an incapable individual.  Their perception of the world may be that it is not safe and are more susceptible to becoming depressed, angry or feel hopeless.  feel like they do not belong.  Children may feel powerless to defend yourself and believe that they do not belong.  Their self-concept can be wounded and they may feel worthless and have difficulty believing in themselves.  This can be demoralizing to a child not only in the short-term, but in the long-term.

As a parent some common warning signs if your child is a victim of bullying may be: depression, anxious avoidance of settings in which bullying occurs, a greater incident of illness, lower grades, suicidal thoughts and feelings, overly stressed, social withdrawal or isolation, and/or angery outbursts.  If these issues are not addressed the long-term effects for the child may include: reduced occupational opportunities, difficulty trusting others, lingering feelings of anger and bitterness, interpersonal difficulties (fear and avoidance of new social situations), increased tendency to be a loner, perception of self as easy to victimize, overly sensitive, and self-esteem problems.

The common signs to recognize if your child is a bully are: lying at least in part in the home setting, being abusive, narcissistic tendencies, sadistic in nature, destructive, violent acts, perpetrating upon victims, a ring-leader, aggressive behavior, dominant demeanor, treating people as though they are objects either to be used or disguarded, stealing, cheating, instills fear in others, underlined feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, appearing overly confident or cocky, and involved in cliches or gangs.

If you or a loved one has been effected by bullying and are in need of counseling, please feel free to contact me to schedule an appointment today.

For more information you can visit my website at www.TruePotentialCounseling.com.

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The United Parental Front: Building a stable family unit

Posted on July 19, 2010. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Communication, Marriage, Parenting Tips, Relationship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

There are a variety of parenting styles that exist; however, the primary approaches are: dominant parenting, passive parenting and active parenting.  If each parent has a different approach or are both using ineffective approaches challenges may arise and destabilize the family unit.  The dominant parent tends to create fear in the child as a form of controlling the situation or behavior of the child.  The passive parent tends to be a “push-over” indirectly giving up control and allowing the child to have their own way.  Another more effective approach is called active parenting where the parents are firm, fair and consistent in the rules, boundaries, guidelines, expectations and consequences in the home.  Moreover, these parents allow the child to make choices and learn from mistakes while staying within the limits communicated to the child from the get go.  This empowers not only the parents, but also the children because everyone in the family structure knows what is expected and the consequences are clearly communicated in advance.   This makes it easier for parents to discipline and educate their children effectively, while also teaching personal accountability to the child.  These partners work as a team to create a stable family unit where the child knows the limits in the home.  The perimeters initially are quite constricted at the earlier stages of a child’s development (for example, age 2),  since they are not fully developed yet to make major decision or even minor decisions in some cases.  As the child ages, these perimeters can expand in proportion to the child’s stage of personal development.   This allows the child the space to begin to make choices, decisions and to learn from mistakes.  As they enter into adolescence they will be not only better prepared to make decisions, but will also have been given the clear perimeters to consciously think through choices and the consequences more effectively.  For more information please visit my website at www.TruePotentialCounseling.com

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Text Messaging or Text Addiction?

Posted on April 20, 2010. Filed under: Addiction, Children and Adolescents, Communication | Tags: , , , , , , |

Is text messaging turing into text addiction?  Imaging studies show that when we receive a text message our dopamine levels sky rocket in the same way an addict’s brain responds after a fix.  However, if a person does not receive a text message and are anticipating a response, studies indicate that anxious and depressive symptoms result.  On my train ride into Zurich this morning, I saw a teenager send 200 text messages non-stop while her parent’s and little sister played cards and tried to convince her to spend quality time with them as a family.  Text messaging can also lead to potential accidents as well.  According to a study released by the National Safety Council, twenty-eight percent of traffic accidents occur when people talk on cellphones or send text messages while driving.  And lastly, there have been occasions where relationships have also become strained due to misunderstandings of tone and content received via text.  Has this ever happened to you?  Text messaging does have its advantages as well, allowing us to receive or send information quickly and clearly.    Last month, I was meeting a friend for dinner but had forgotten the main cross streets but within 1 minute my girlfriend had sent me not only the address but also the cross streets and phone number of the restaurant.  Amazing!  In business it can also be very useful when you need to get in contact with a client and are stuck in a meeting.  So, what do you think?  Is text messaging bringing us closer together or further apart?  Do the disadvantages outweight the cons?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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