Teens prefer texts over calls to reach friends

A new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project says texting has skyrocketed for teens. The survey says teens prefer texting to talking on cell phones, as text messaging has become the primary source of communication for teenagers to reach their friends. The preferred mode for reaching parents for most teenagers is voice calling.

From the Pew Internet & American Life Project:

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.

So how do teens manage to send so many texts in a day when they're supposed to be in school? Forty-three percent of teenagers who take their phones to school say they send at least one text message from class a day. Teen girls ages 14-17 send the most texts -- averaging 100 a day. The youngest teen boys send the least amount of texts, averaging only 20 messages a day.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.

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