UK Study Finds 20 Million Miss Their Stop Each Year from "Digital Distraction" 

According to a recent study, more than 50 percent of Britons have missed their bus or train stop because they've been distracted by their phones. The most common smartphone distractions were social media or surfing the web (35 percent), email (28 percent), games (27 percent) and phone calls (15 percent). The results are from the Mobile Life survey conducted by O2 and Samsung.

Teens Who Sext Seven Times More Likely to Be Sexually Active

A recent study of Los Angeles high school students found that 15 percent of teens sexted, "sending and receiving sexually explicit text messages." In addition, those who sexted were 17 times more likely to also have friends who sext. Experts note that one of the dangers of this behavior is that what is intended as a private message may be made public.

How the Presence of a Phone Affects Face-to-Face Conversation

The mere presence of a cell phone decreased closeness, connection and conversation quality according to a recent study. Study subjects were asked to have a conversation about topics such as "Discuss an interesting event that occurred to you over the past month." For some of the conversations, a cell phone was placed on a nearby desk. The subjects were asked to rate their conversations. Those with the nearby mobile phone rated lower levels of relationship quality, partner closeness, partner trust and perceived empathy.

"Digital Natives" Prefer Texting to Talking

More than half of "Digital Natives" agree with the statement, "I prefer texting people rather than talking to them."  The recent Time Inc. study that found these results defines Digital Natives as "consumers who grew up with mobile technology as part of their everyday lives" and "Digital Immigrants" as those who "firs learned about mobile technology in their adult lives." In addition, Digital Natives switch between media platforms such as TV, smartphones or tablets 27 times an hour.

Internet Addicts Have Similar Changes to the Brain as Alcohol and Drug Addicts

A recent study found that adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) had similar connections between nerve fibers in their brains as other addicts such as alcoholics. The brains of 14- to 21-year-old males and females were compared to see differences between those with IAD and those without it. It's possible that the results will provide strength to the idea that technology addiction should be classified as a mental illness.

Florida School Officials Can Punish Cyberbullying that Occurs Off-Campus

A recent law allows Florida school officials to punish cyberbullying if it "substantially" interrupts a student's education. This is a change from the previous law that limited the schools' authority to incidents on campus and school-related events. According to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, Wayne Blanton, director of the Florida School Boards Association, said, "It's a suicide-prevention measure."

Social Media Can Harm Job Prospects

According to a recent survey, 43 percent of hiring managers who utilize social media when evaluating job candidates have said that they found information that made them not hire a candidate. These reasons included that the candidate posted inappropriate photos (50 percent), there was indication that the candidate drank alcohol or used drugs (48 percent) or that the candidate spoke negatively about a previous employer (33 percent). Still, not all was bad. Almost one in five hiring managers said that they found information that influenced them hiring a candidate.

E-Waste Fastest Growing Type of Waste

E-waste represents up to five percent of the waste in the U.S. and is growing five times faster than all other types of waste, according to Electronic Recyclers International. The company says that it is a $40 billion a year industry. 

White House Report Shows Continued Digital Divide

There is still a stark digital divide between those with access to broadband Internet and those without, according to a recent report from the White House, Four Years of Broadband Growth.  Almost 90 percent of college grads utilize broadband while only 35 percent of those with less than a high school degree do. Similarly, 93 percent of those with incomes above $100,000 do while only 43 percent of those with incomes less than $25,000.

Students Distracted Every Three Minutes

In a recent study, researchers found that students were distracted an average of every three minutes while studying and that the distractions were almost exclusively from technology. For the study, 300 middle school, high school and college students were observed studying for 15 minutes. The researchers were particularly surprised to find that if the students checked Facebook a single time during the 15-minute period, they were poorer students.

Heavy Phone and Computer Use Linked to Sleep Disturbances, Stress and Depressive Symptoms

The study consisted of surveys of 4,100 people between the ages of 20 and 24 and interviews with 32 heavy information and communications technology (ICT) users.  Researchers found an increase in sleeping problems for men and depressive symptoms for both men and women. In addition, researchers found that using a computer without breaks is linked to stress, sleeping problems and depressive symptoms in women and sleeping problems in men.