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"IDK, my BFF Jill?"
Boys average 30 texts per day and skip punctuation

Mobile phone use in teens is currently at a very high rate and most of those teen users spend more time texting than they spend talking on their devices.

Unfortunately, texting has become such an integrated part of the life for teens and older drivers that texting while driving is something that many do without even thinking about it. According to some reports, people who are texting and driving are six times more likely to be in an accident.

new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project has looked for insights into teen culture and specifically the prevalence of texting.

According to the study, texting among the teen population in the U.S. has grown dramatically since 2008. Texting has now surpassed phone calls, IM, and social networking for communication between teens. The study found that a full 3/4 of teens from 12 to 17 own cell phones today and that girls in the group typically send 80 texts per day and boys typically send 30 texts per day.

Study researcher Amanda Lenhart said, "Texting is now the central hub of communication in the lives of teens today, and it has really skyrocketed in the last 18 months." She continued saying, "We've kind of hit a tipping point where now teens expect other teens to respond to text messaging and to be available. There is definitely an element of text messaging that fits so seamlessly into their lives."

One key reason for the rise in texting among teens is that teens general expect each other to be reachable and to respond to text messages no matter if they are in class or under close watch of parents. One key finding of the study showed that 87% of teen cell phone owners sleep with or next to their phones so they can answer text messages during the night.

The study also found that girls use punctuation in texts and boys tend to forgo punctuation. Study author Scott Campbell said, "If a girl puts a period at the end of a text message (to another girl) then it comes across as she's mad." Lenhart added, "They have these practices because they've learned that texts can lead to misunderstandings. It's a deliberate thing and it's also part of a culture that's interested in differentiating itself from adult culture." 

While there are bans on texting and driving in many parts of the country for drivers of all ages, many teens are simply ignoring these bans and the evidence that shows texting and driving leads to more accidents. Police say that enforcing texting and driving bans is difficult because texting is hard to spot.

Teens simply say that no one will listen to the bans. Steven Bloch from the Automobile Club said, "What I would say is that texting and cell phone devices have become such a component of life for teens and for young people that it's hard for them to differentiate between doing something normal and doing something wrong."



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Texts are just more convenient
By spwrozek on 4/20/2010 9:20:02 AM , Rating: 2
That is the main thing. It was very easy to shoot a text off in class when I was in college. If my wife wants me to stop for something on the way home from work she texts me so I have a list right on my phone. If I am in a meeting it is easy to send off a text. If I am driving I can wait till I am stopped or to my destination to shoot off a response. There is no answer and talk obligation.

It is my main form of communication with friends and family for plans and quick things that are not important. It makes all those things easier because I can be doing anything else and shoot off a quick text and wait for the response instead of hashing it out on a 10 min phone call.




RE: Texts are just more convenient
By inighthawki on 4/20/2010 9:23:59 AM , Rating: 3
That's all great, and you probably fall within this average. Even a small back and forth at the rate you described, you would get what, 40, 50 texts per day? There are many people who go WELL above this, hundreds if not over 1000 texts. Would you not agree that these people would likely be better off just calling the person and clearing up an hour of back and forth texting in say, 2 minutes?


RE: Texts are just more convenient
By acase on 4/20/2010 9:59:57 AM , Rating: 2
Not strongly disagreeing, but one handy thing about texts is that you can carry on conversations with multiple different people at the same time, and even sometimes 2 completely different conversations with the same person at the same time. So in that way if they were on the phone with one of these people (an didn't have multi-tasking) they wouldn't be able to be talking to the other people at the same time. There are conference calls but that only works if you are all talking about the same thing.


By spwrozek on 4/20/2010 10:04:55 AM , Rating: 2
I probably fall in or under the average. I am not sending crazy amounts. Some people may be better off calling. If I know it will be a longer discussion I just call.

As an example tonight I will shoot off a 10 at once to people asking if they are meeting us at the sports bar to watch the Red Wings game tonight. Calling each person would be way longer and waste more time to me.


By Lazarus Dark on 4/20/2010 7:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
I am actually amazed at this 80 texts number they give.

Texting is my main form of comunication too. I have 400 voice minutes a month but only use about 10 minutes a month. But I also only have 200 text messages per month. And I rarely go over 150 even though text is my main comunication between myself and about ten friends. What are they texting to make 80 texts in a day? Do they text one word at a time?

My ATT contract is up next month and I'm going with Verizon to get a Droid with data. A deaf friend has a text/data only plan (no voice service, though you can make voice calls at a pay-per-minute rate, I think) and it's super cheap, I'm thinking I may go with this plan also.


RE: Texts are just more convenient
By xDrift0rx on 4/20/2010 9:30:12 AM , Rating: 3
this guy brings up the point of texting. convenience.

you dont have to worry about being rude while sitting in a meeting to send a text message, or have a conversation to keep you awake during class. not only that but they are alwasy available unlike instant messengers where you can sign off, go away etc.


RE: Texts are just more convenient
By Smilin on 4/20/2010 1:22:47 PM , Rating: 1
Hey buddy just because nobody says anything to you while you are texting during a meeting doesn't mean they don't notice or that it's not completely rude.

...just a tip from someone who writes evals.


RE: Texts are just more convenient
By Hieyeck on 4/21/2010 11:48:58 AM , Rating: 2
... just a tip from the 21st century: "always connected and available".

Unless you don't work IT, which would mean you're talking to the wrong people on the wrong site.


By JediJeb on 4/23/2010 10:10:12 AM , Rating: 2
Since when is DT and IT only site?

Honestly I work as a chemist, and as a supervisor in research I am expected to be available when needed. But during a meeting the company policy is cellphones off, including texting. It makes the meeting go much faster then when constantly waiting for people to finish phone conversations and sending/reading text messages.


By kmmatney on 4/23/2010 1:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
There are tons of non-IT people at this site. I'm an X-ray scientist myself (although I spend about 33% of the time programming, so maybe that's IT).


By Smilin on 4/26/2010 1:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
"always connected" is not the same as "always available". Confuse the two at your own professional peril.

Oh, and non-IT people are more than welcome on this site. We're discussing an article on teenagers texting after all. I don't have too many of those in my dept.


By p05esto on 4/21/2010 12:14:22 AM , Rating: 1
Man, where I work if you even check your cell phone during a meeting that's very rude and people notice. If you text during a meeting your days are numbered buddy, lol. Kids.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/21/2010 7:17:54 AM , Rating: 1
As the others above me said, if you're in a meeting and you are communicating with someone who is outside that meeting, you are being rude. Even though you're not disrupting others, everyone else can see that you're not paying attention, and that is rude.


By leuNam on 4/21/2010 8:48:56 AM , Rating: 1
I disagree. I've been handling meetings in class as well as a consultant in a firm, I know how rude it is when someone may be texting. I always say before the meeting starts to turn off their cellphones, or if it is that important get my attention so you may get excused.


RE: Texts are just more convenient
By Chocobollz on 4/21/2010 1:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
LOL I think you got it backwards. Texting while in a meeting is actually something which many would consider it as improper. And having phonecall in a meeting doesn't always considered as rude, especially when you already put your cellphone in silent mode as to not make a sound and you politely ask for permission for answering the call. That's what I called, a good manner, as opposed to "don't have a manner" when you just go texting in a middle of a meeting!


RE: Texts are just more convenient
By angryplayer on 4/22/2010 1:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, I didn't know people who don't work in IT browse tech sites. My bosses consider it rude to walk out of the meeting. Stay at the meeting cause no one wants to repeat what you missed when you walked out, even phone calls - just mute the damn thing. The only reason you walk out is for emergencies, personal or work.


By JediJeb on 4/23/2010 10:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, there are engineers, scientists (I am a chemist myself), IT, Teachers, Business Professionals, and just about any other profession you can imagine browsing here. For many technology is a hobby as much as a profession, for me it is both.


By jdietz on 4/21/2010 1:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
So then here is what you do:
1) Set your phone on vibrate.
2) Pretend there is no answer and talk obligation for regular phone calls too.
3) Check your voicemail.


By eddieroolz on 4/21/2010 5:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
I just can't believe these girls can do 80 a day, and that's just average.

In contrast, I only use 80 in the entire month...


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