PEW Teens and Mobile Phones

PEW Teens and Mobile Phones

I will be sharing a collection of recent internet safety research pieces. The first one shared was McAfee’s Survey Results: The Secret lives of Teens, this is the fifth installment.

Excerpt

Daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months, from 38% of teens texting friends daily in February of 2008 to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. And it’s not just frequency – teens are sending enormous quantities of text messages a day. Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts a month, and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month. Older teen girls ages 14-17 lead the charge on text messaging, averaging 100 messages a day for the entire cohort. The youngest teen boys are the most resistant to texting – averaging 20 messages per day.

Text messaging has become the primary way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging and voice calling as the go-to daily communication tool for this age group. However, voice calling is still the preferred mode for reaching parents for most teens.

This report particularly highlights the rapid rise of text messaging in recent months. Some 72% of all U.S. teens are now text message users,8 up from 51% in 2006. Among them, the typical texter sends and receives 50 texts a day, or 1500 per month. By way of comparison, a Korean, Danish or a Norwegian teen might send 15 – 20 a day and receives as many.

Changes in subscription packages have encouraged widespread texting among U.S. teens and has made them into world class texters. As a result, teens in America have integrated texting into their everyday routines. It is a way to keep in touch with peers even while they are engaged in other social activities. Often this is done discreetly and with little fuss. In other cases, it interrupts in-person encounters or can cause dangerous situations.

To understand the role that cell phones play in teens’ lives, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the University of Michigan’s Department of Communication Studies conducted a survey and focus groups in the latter part of 2009. The phone survey was conducted on landline and cell phones and included 800 youth ages 12-17 and one of their parents.

Click here to learn more: Teens and Mobile Phones

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