Susan Holtzman is an associate professor in UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. - UBCO

Texting is just as hurtful as face-to-face convos, says new study

A new study from UBC Okanagan says texting can have harmful effects.

Text messages can be just as harmful as face-to-face conversations, according to a new UBC Okanagan study.

Researchers at UBCO who have determined that negative comments can have the same impact regardless of how they are delivered, according to the university’s news release.

Their findings suggest that text messaging can be just as harmful as face-to-face conversations when it comes to delivering unfavourable remarks, the release said.

“Text messaging has become a popular way for communication, including heated discussions,” says UBC Okanagan psychology researcher and study senior author Susan Holtzman. “Our study is among the first to provide a clear picture of the emotional impact of receiving a critical text.”

Her research team analyzed the emotional responses of 172 individuals between the ages of 18 and 25, who were given criticism in-person, through text messaging or no feedback at all. The participants were also assessed for trait mindfulness—the ability to focus on the present moment, the release said.

RELATED: Texting while walking increases risk of getting hit by car: UBC study

“The emotional impact of criticism was strikingly similar for participants in the text message and in-person groups,” says Holtzman, an associate professor in UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. “However, participants low on mindfulness, who tend to be more emotionally reactive, reported more hurt feelings when criticism was provided through a text message.”

“Generally speaking, the use of text messaging for providing negative feedback is not necessarily ill-advised. But it is important to remember that not everyone responds to critical text messages in the same way—there are personality differences in how people react,” says Holtzman. “People also tend to be less inhibited when they are texting, and that can lead to worse outcomes.”

RELATED: Kelowna cops crack down on drivers using cell phones

Basically, she says don’t say anything in a text message that you wouldn’t be willing to say in-person.

“And when it comes to making amends, our previous research and other studies show that in-person communication is likely best.”

The study, published in Computer in Human Behaviour was supported by funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

Facebook comments call for segregated health authorities

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

B.C. man linked to human remains probe to stand trial on unrelated assault case

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Most Read