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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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RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By sarthurn on 4/20/2010 9:40:51 AM , Rating: -1
As a 40 something year old, I wish to state the following:

I text 10-15 THOUSAND (10,000-15,000) text a month.


Because often easier to stay in touch with people around the world. I can send a text, and they might be at home, with family, at work, driving, whatever, and can reply to me, when ever. I do NOT expect an immediate reply. So I can say, "What you doing?" few minutes later, "Driving to Laker game, u?" etc etc. A phone call you can not just pause for five minutes...with texting you can.

I text to people world wide - granted it costs 25 cents each text outside the country, but I CAN AFFORD IT - and just easier to reach out.

I too think the survey is flawed. My daughter alone - 12 - texts 9000 a month. If she is not doing that she is one one of various messengers as well.

So, for all those people that complain I did 100 a month, or year, well, good for you, seriously, but for some of us, it is just a easy way to say Hi and not tie the person up on the phone...


RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By MrBlastman on 4/20/2010 9:55:27 AM , Rating: 5
Wait a minute... stop what you are doing:

"Driving to Laker game, u?"

Did you really just say that? Are you telling me your _friend_ is texting while driving... and you are encouraging it?

I present to DT exhibit A: Sarthurn.

Please file this under glaring evidence.

Stop the texting while driving. Please. All of us will thank you later.

RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By Spivonious on 4/20/2010 11:05:12 AM , Rating: 3
Give this man a 6. Texting while driving is the most idiotic thing one could do.

By Smilin on 4/20/2010 1:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
Some comedian had a good point about it.

DWI/DUI = Some drunk guy is driving the car.
Texting = NOBODY is driving the car.

Better to have a drunk driver.

By The0ne on 4/20/2010 1:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, some of my ex-friends might take this title. They drive big SUV's while watching a movie. How pathetic is that. I was scare shtless cause the SUV was going everywhere and yet these idiots don't seem to care one bit. Do yourself a favor and stay away from people/drivers like this.

RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By PrezWeezy on 4/20/2010 1:29:18 PM , Rating: 1
I've been known to respond to a text while at a red light.
I have a smart phone now with a full keyboard and I don't text and drive on that. When I had a 9 key I used to be able to whip out a text without ever looking at the phone so I could text and drive without any ill effect. Now, however, I have to look at the keyboard to see where my fingers are and I can't do it while driving anymore.

As for texting, I agree with the poster above. I text because I don't have to interrupt people in the middle of what they are doing. So I can send a text and when they get around to answering me I get a response. I also am a very visually oriented person. So when I get a text that says I need to be somewhere, take care of something, call someone, it tends to stick better. When someone calls me to tell me something it's usually in one ear and out the other. Also, phone calls fail to grasp my attention most of the time. Since simply listening to someone talk doesn't engage me the way it does some people, I tend to let my mind wander while I'm on the phone and then I can't remember anything that was said in the conversation. Texts on the other hand I can review later, and since they are written down I retain more of the information.

RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By MrBlastman on 4/20/2010 1:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
To me it sounds like you need to work on concentrating harder. You can remember what people say if you try.

There is no excuse though for texting and driving. NONE. Not even at a red light.

Wait, did I just say red light? Why yes, yes I did. "Why?" You might ask, because, if you are at a red light and are engrossed in a text message, what happens if an emergency vehicle comes along while your radio is on and you fail to notice them? The emergency vehicle either gets stuck or has to go off the road to get around you.

Driving is not a chore. Driving is a responsibility. You OWE it to the people around you to put the darned phone down and put your eyeballs and attention towards the road and your surroundings.

By PrezWeezy on 4/21/2010 2:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's called a learning style. It's very well studied. There are 3 types, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Your ability to retain information processed is directly related to your learning style. I happen to be a mix between visual and kinesthetic. The majority of the world (I think around 60%) are auditory learners. That means talking on the phone works for them. It's more difficult for me. Yes I could work very very hard and remember part of what someone says on the phone, but I don't retain it as well. Hence I use text messages which work very well for me. That's not because I'm choosing not to remember, that's the way my brain works.

As for texting at a red light, if I wasn't texting I'd be zoning out some other way so I wouldn't have any better chance of noticing the vehicle. I'm sorry that my texting when I'm stopped upsets you, but the fact of the matter is I am no more likely to cause a problem than anyone else on the road who does all of the other crazy things people do in cars. I realize the excuse "well I'm not as bad as..." sucks, but the fact is that I KNOW my limitations and I know when I need to put the phone down and I know when I'm losing my focus on the road. I know what I can and cannot do. I don't do anything that is going to put people in danger. I'm very conscious of that.

RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By Smilin on 4/20/2010 2:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
When I had a 9 key I used to be able to whip out a text without ever looking at the phone so I could text and drive without any ill effect.

Fool. There is absolutely an ill effect. Even having a hands free conversation increases your risk of an accident. Is that what you really think? That as long as you don't look down that you can text and drive without worry?

Normally I would just brush off tools like you and let darwin sort you out but unfortunately you're going to kill someone else who doesn't deserve it.

By jimhsu on 4/20/2010 5:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
How is texting while driving like secondhand smoke? Read your nearest economic textbook ... "negative externality".

RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By PrezWeezy on 4/21/2010 2:48:32 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying you have both hands on the wheel at all times no matter what? I drive one handed almost exclusively until I need my other hand. I also drive a stick, so most of the time is spent with one hand on the wheel, one on the shifter. When I had my 9 key I drove an auto at the time, so the net effect was the same.

By Smilin on 4/26/2010 1:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
No, I'm not saying anything about your hands. I'm talking about your brain.

Moving a shifter from 2nd to 3rd is not the same as composing a multiple character message on a 9 key.

RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By troysavary on 4/21/2010 11:38:44 AM , Rating: 2
You lack the mental capacity to remember a short phone conversation, yet you think you are able to dredge up from that same limited intellect the ability to text while driving with no ill effect. You, sir, are an idiot.

RE: This is one thing that I'll never get...
By PrezWeezy on 4/21/2010 2:50:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, people who are kinesthetic and visual learners tend to have higher IQ's on the whole. It's not mental capacity, it's synapse mapping. Before you call someone an idiot why don't you go ahead and learn about how the brain works.

By Smilin on 4/26/2010 1:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks professor.

If you think that someone can text and drive with no ill effects then you're an idiot too.

By jimhsu on 4/20/2010 5:43:12 PM , Rating: 2
You see, I saw that message as ambiguous. Is the message an inquiry of whether or not the recipient is driving to the Laker game, whether or not the recipient is even GOING to the game, or whether or not the sender needs a ride? A simple phone call would resolve the ambiguity.

Not to mention the text while driving part.

By callmeroy on 4/20/2010 11:39:41 AM , Rating: 2
complaining and stating opinion are completely different things.

I don't give a rat's ass how many texts you send per second -- as long as a)Its not on any plan I'm paying for (like a parent held accountable for paying their child's phone bill), b) you aren't doing in during an activity that jeopardizes my safety (like while driving). Other than that my OPINION is its pathetic to burn your time texting back and forth crazy amounts. Once you hit the THOUSANDS per month..that's a bit crazy.

Now you don't need to agree with my opinion, that's why its called "MY" *Opinion*....not yours...But there ya go.

Personally, I don't like to be bothered with constant texts it annoys me....If I want a conversation or have so much to say I rather actually talk to them (face to face preferred or phone if needed).

By DaveLessnau on 4/20/2010 11:56:42 AM , Rating: 4
As a 40 something year old, I wish to state the following: I text 10-15 THOUSAND (10,000-15,000) text a month.

Pardon me, but 15,000 per month averages out to 500 per day, 20 per hour (even assuming you text 24 hours per day), or one every 3 minutes. Assuming you sleep 8 hours per day and perform various other maintenance task, I'd say 10 hours of texting per day is a more reasonable number than 24. That works out to about 1 text a minute. CONSTANTLY. Those numbers speak for themselves: I'm not even going to editorialize on them.

By JediJeb on 4/20/2010 12:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
I text 10-15 THOUSAND (10,000-15,000) text a month.

Wow. I guess I am on the total opposite side of this, I have actually been thinking of getting rid of my cellphone just so I can have more time that people can't bother me.

I had a girl friend back about seven years ago who would text like that and would get mad when I didn't reply instantly. One time she sent several in a row asking why I wasn't replying, I told here it was difficult to text back while taking a crap, of course that just made here more angry. Sometimes you just can't win lol.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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