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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: 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.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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