Upward trending since the beginning of Usenet, text based messaging has now eclipsed even the phone itself as to become the most frequent form of communication among US teenagers. Even more surprising is that girls send more than twice as many messages as boys, according to a new study.
The study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the University of Michigan released Tuesday found that the average adolescent sends or receives 50 or more messages a day, or 1,500 texts per month, and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month. Much to the dismay of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months, from 38% of teen’s texting friends daily in February of 2008 to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. Texting has gotten so prolific; there are even competitions now to see who can text the fastest: the LG Mobile Worldcup. This should not come as a big surprise if you simply look at the amount of communication on many throughout history on Usenet newsgroups.
However, although 71 percent of parents with teenagers aged 12 to 17 years old say they know how to and do text, kids still perceive their elders as being out of the texting loop.
Although some of the popularity of texting can be chalked up to generational trends, teens interviewed in the Pew study also cited practical and economic reasons for their enthusiasm. With some of the same initial draws to subscribing to and sharing on newsgroups, texting is quieter and easier than a phone call for brief messages, and many teenagers are on cellphone plans that limit minutes for calls but that allows unlimited texts.