If you receive a text encouraging flu shots while you're driving, is the net impact positive or negative?
Although driving while texting is risky behavior—and we here at Outliers often find any texting to be a little obnoxious—a new study says text messages sent to parents about the flu can increase the rate of immunization in children. So the next person who looks down at his phone while you're talking might just be doing his part to decrease instances of influenza. Or maybe you're just boring him.
The study, from the April 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that educational “text message intervention” regarding the flu increased influenza vaccination coverage among low-income and minority children and adolescents, a group of youngsters that typically has low immunization rates.