A study put out by a Teenage Research Unlimited, a for-profit research and marketing company, and funded by the Liz Claiborne Company found that teens are obsessive about keeping track of their significant others by using technology. Yahoo News reports that survey findings include the statistic that almost one-quarter of teens surveyed who were currently in a relationship stated that they had received hourly text messages or phone calls to check up on them between midnight and 5 a.m (just how late do these kids stay up?). This amounts to 46 teens, based on the fact that 615 13 to 18 year olds were surveyed and 30% of them claimed to be in a relationship at the time (can’t find this currently, but I know I read it USA Today notes that 382 of the sample, 62%, had ever been in a relationship). One out of six (n=30) said they had received messages 10 or more times an hour overnight.
In addition, over one-third of teens who had been in a relationship said a boyfriend or girlfriend had harassed them with text messages. In addition, one out of every four said their significant other had used a cell phone, e-mail, blog or Web chat to insult them (of course, this finding begs the question, what percentage of teens are insulted by their partners overall?).
Yes, I am picking apart the methodology and the sample size, but I am glad this sort of thing is being looked at. And it is all going to a very good cause. Liz Claiborne has launched www.loveisrepect.org as a resource for teens to use if they feel they are in an abusive relationship and want to talk to someone about it 24/7.
Technology can be both the good and bad guy in this case.