WCAU Goes After Text Addicts

WCAU Philly recently concluded a unique bit where investigative guy Harry Hairston took 10 seriously wired teens–kids who send upwards of like 15,000 text a month (yes, a month)–and looked at what happened when they quit all digital devices for 10 days.

“No Tech Teens” saw the youths refrain from texting, gaming, calls to and from cellphones, Facebook, Twitter, etc. “Nothing high-tech, period,” says Hairston. “They could only make calls from land lines to land lines.”

Hairston says the kids learned (or at least re-learned) life skills ranging from telling time on a traditional clock (ya know, the big hand and the little hand) to the art of conversation. He also says that in some cases, the high school students’ grades went up, as they focused better on homework and studying. Parents also got more face time with their kids, and got to know their kids’ friends better–thanks to the calls coming over the land lines.

Actually, the one device the kids were permitted was a mini video camera to document their travails throughout the 10 days. WCAU will air the findings this Thursday in its late news.

“It was a real eye-opener for me,” says Hairston.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.