third of U.S. teenagers with cell phones send more than 100 texts a day as
texting has exploded to become the most popular means of communication for
young people, according to new research.
The study by the Pew Internet and
American Life Project, which offers a glimpse into teen culture and
communication, found that texting has risen dramatically even since 2008,
eclipsing cell phone calls, instant messaging, social networks — and talking
The Pew Research Centre said that
three-fourths of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 now own cell phones
and of those that do, girls typically send or receive 80 text messages per day
and boys, 30 per day.
“Texting is now the central
hub of communication in the lives of teens today, and it has really skyrocketed
in the last 18 months,” Pew researcher Amanda Lenhart said, attributing
the rise in part to payment plans that allow unlimited texting.
The study’s authors also say that,
unlike phone calls, text messaging can be quietly carried out under the noses
of parents, teachers or other authority figures and, unlike computers, it can
be done almost anywhere.
“We’ve kind of hit a tipping
point where now teens expect other teens to respond to text messaging and to be
available,” Lenhart said. “There is definitely an element of text
messaging that fits so seamlessly into their lives.”
Text messaging has become so much a
part of teenagers’ lives that 87 per cent of those who text said that they
sleep with, or next to, their phone.