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

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 4: Recap

Results and highlights from day 4 at the 2019 All Native Basketball Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 3: Recap

Highlights from around Day 3 of the tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read