Texting Making Today's Youth All Thumbs

from the opposable dept

There's been a lot of talk about how the rise of text messaging is affecting people and how they communicate. We've seen reports about texting's impact on families (verdict: not clear), on the English language (verdict: it's safe), and on students' grammar (it's okay too). But one more area texting is having an impact: young people aren't using their index fingers as much. Apparently because younger people are using their thumbs to text all the time, it's become the digit of choice for activities like ringing doorbells. So will index fingers go the way of the appendix and become some extraneous appendage unneeded by modern man? I just tried typing this post with only my thumbs, and based on that, I think they, and their six other friends, are safe for some time yet.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Future Boy, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    Thumbs

    Most people have 5 fingers on each hand, and 4 toes on each foot.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Vir, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:15am

    Seriously?

    Wouldn't today's youth, and yesterday's youth be more thumbs oriented due to video games? The Wii is a recent invention that involves the wrist. Is the index finger going away? No. As long as there are teens it will exist.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:18am

    I've heard this before under the video game angle. It's nothing new.

     

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  4.  
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    eleete, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:18am

    Unless a horrible accident

    "I just tried typing this post with only my thumbs, and based on that, I think they, and their six other friends, are safe for some time yet."

    Mine have 8 other friends.

     

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  5.  
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    TriZz, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:29am

    Re: Unless a horrible accident

    Two thumbs, two index fingers...that leaves 6 remaining digits. He does say their six OTHER friends...

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    Obviously missed to point...

    "Mine have 8 other friends."

    The six is referring to the fact that the thumbs were omitted as they were already part of the discussion. The index fingers were main point, and there by leaving the middle, ring and pinky of each hand. By my count that is six, unless you have a freakish hands with extra digits...

     

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  7.  
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    Michael, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Obviously missed the point...

    and I can't type or proofread either...

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Unless a horrible accident

    I was going to correct you, but you are indeed correct. 6 + the 2 index fingers is what he actually said.

    You win this round, you magnificent bastard1

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:59am

    Re: Obviously missed to point...

    I wish I had more fingers, it would make Guitar Hero that much easier...

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Re:

    That's exactly what I thought when I was reading this. They were commenting that we used our thumbs to dial phones instead of our index fingers before cell phone texting existed, and said it was due to videogames.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    fprintf, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Obviously missed to point...

    Play it as a lap-steel guitar... you can use your thumb on the green button, and 4 fingers on the other buttons. Your knee is the support for the back of the guitar. But who said it was supposed to be easy? I'm still stuck on Easy as making the translation real guitarist to virtual guitar is way more challenging that I thought.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    fprintf, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Obviously missed to point...

    Correction, unless your hands are mounted on backwards you would play your little finger on the green button. Thumb is on blue I think.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    anonymous cow, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    index finger

    the index finger is still the best for picking your nose.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:26am

    Re: index finger

    And likely it always will be. :-P

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    12o, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    One of the things considered is that these teens will eventually grow up to be programmers, developers, marketers, etc. If they continue to use their thumbs throughout their teenage years and into adulthood, what are the possibilities that they will work for companies that will develop different items for the markets that will continue to use thumbs? Since they're thumbs will be the primary digit, chances are they may create devices they fell comfortable with, hence cascading the effect further down the line. Just a thought...

     

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  16.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:39am

    as long as there are guns

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:40am

    The Thumb will reign supreme when we start talking about the benefits of having "opposable index fingers"...

     

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  18.  
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    Twinrova, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    Re: Hot off the press !

    I read this story this morning and was stunned. Girl's got some mad thumbing skills, that's for sure.

    I can barely squeak out 1 text per day, let alone per minute. I don't text much. See no reason for it on a cellphone. Phone. Hmmm.

    Any uses for the pinky finger? I can't find any other than to hit the Enter key on my keyboard.
    :)

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    DS78, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Hmmm

    As a guitar player who grew up with video games as a baby sitter I don't have the thumb problem. I haven't noticed anywhere either.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Count Postula "ahh ahh ahhhhh", Jan 13th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    Re: Unless a horrible accident

    really? you have 10 fingers and 2 thumbs? To0 bad this study doesn't have anything to do with math or human anatomy.

    count it out if its too complicated... 2 thumbs + 2 index fingers + 6 "other friends" (aka remaining 6 fingers) = 10

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: Unless a horrible accident

    sure if you count the two thumbs, which should be discarded because: A) they aren't fingers, they're thumbs. and B) the article is talking about thumbs, so if you discount them and the index fingers, you are left with six digits. (unless you can work with your toes.)

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    As long as there are teen boys and victoria's secret catalogs fingers will be around for quite some time. As for the girls, I suppose tiger beat, or international male would work.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    OMG I barely ever used my fourth finger! Maybe it feels left out. And when was the last time I typed with my toes. Look what technology has done to me.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    What Voice Recognition

    When we not longer need to type, will out fingers fall off? Geez I hope not cause I need mine for lotsa other stuff.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Hot off the press !

    Some musical instruments require pinky fingers.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Xiera, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    "I just tried typing this post with only my thumbs, and based on that, I think they, and their six other friends, are safe for some time yet."

    You clearly don't have a mini hand held keyboard yet. :P (I dread the day...)

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: index finger

    Yes, I find it very difficult picking my nose with my thumb.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    porkster, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 12:53am

    medical problems

    As I sat waiting for my appointment with the doctor, a young girl (age 15) sat waiting across from me - her medical complaint RSI (aka OOS) of the thumb. in the few minutes I sat there she was constantly texting.

    Seriously I think texting will be a thing of the past as pain overcomes the urge to text. Soon there will be medical warnings on cellphones along with pictures of damaged thumbs and thick glasses.

    You'll be able to buy patches to put over your cellphone keys and you'll be able to get hypnosis to reduce the text urge.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 6:48am

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    gene_cavanaugh, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Texting

    Wow! You have FOUR thumbs? Let's see, 10 - 6 (other friends) equals four! Must be!

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2009 @ 5:46pm

    xnN9H8 hi! hooli?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    painfully_obvious, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Unless a horrible accident

    the thumb is not a finger.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    doing blow with a gay ghost

     

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