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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: Wow
By jimhsu on 4/20/2010 5:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
I do hate text messages (because I don't use them, and receiving them costs money). I don't hate them as a means of communication -- I think preferring one form of communication over another is simply absurd. How you conduct yourself over avenues of communication does matter, not what FORM of communication you use. That said, perhaps the character limit and "expected immediacy" of a text message makes its use off-putting to those accustomed to, for example, a phone call or a face-to-face conversation.

Personally, though, my preferred form of communication is email, blog posts, etc. When meeting face to face is simply not an option, I don't find phone calls to be a panacea, especially when trying to communicate detailed information (did you say 1X-B2 or 1X-D2 for the model number)? More immediate forms of communication, such as text messaging and IMs I also find to be ambiguous (does "going 2 ball games" mean that you are going to one game, or two games?) I prefer the structured form of communication that something like email, or a letter, or even this post conveys. Then again, others think that those same forms of communication are much too long-winded.

To each their own.

RE: Wow
By jimhsu on 4/20/2010 5:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
Clarification (stupid edit feature):

By preferring in the first paragraph, I meant "only using that form of communication and automatically assuming that all other forms are somehow 'inferior'".

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