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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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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.


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