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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink agrees to two-day pause of pipeline construction in Morice River area

Work will stop once Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs begin talks with province and feds

RCMP cease patrols on Morice West Service Road

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

Fort St. James Green Energy plant ‘offline’ until April

Plant manager said the biomass facility had an unforseen circumstance last December.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Feds should have extended EI, says displaced forestry worker

Only 11 workers in the district have been placed into other jobs via forestry placement office.

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

Most Read