If there are any teens in your life, you know the drill: Don't try to talk to them, even if they're in the same room as you.
Send a text message instead.
But new studies show that all those text messages come with real risks, and not just in the form of thumb and wrist pain.
One new study finds that kids who send the most text messages are more likely to engage in bad behavior... while another shows how all that texting may be keeping them awake at night.
In the first new study, researchers found that kids who send the most text messages--an average of 120 per school day (yes, it's possible!)--have a much higher risk of engaging in unhealthy behaviors than those who send few messages.
Researchers say these super-texters were 40 percent more likely to have tried smoking and 43 percent more likely to be binge drinkers than those who didn't text much.
These kids were also 41 percent more likely to have used drugs, 55 percent more likely to have been involved in a fight and 3.5 times more likely to have had sex.
They're also 90 percent more likely to have had four or more sexual partners.
The same study found that 11.5 percent of kids spent more than three hours a day on social networking Web sites like Facebook, and that these children were also more likely to be smokers, drinkers, drug users and sexually active than those who spent less time online.
But let's get back to texting--because another new study finds that kids who can't sleep might be staying up just to send and receive those little one-liners.
A researcher who examined 40 insomniac children and young adults between the ages of 8 and 22 years old found that the kids were actually sending out waves of text messages after their supposed bedtimes.
In all, these kids were sending an average of 33.5 texts each night after lights-out. Some of them even woke up throughout the night to check for new messages--and respond to them.
Truth be told, that sounds like some adults with their BlackBerry devices--so maybe the apples aren't falling all that far from some of those trees.
Of course, none of this means your text-happy children or grandchildren will turn into drinking, smoking, sex-addicted insomniacs. But keep tabs on them just the same--even if you have to send a text message to schedule a little face time.