Study: Texting’s Popularity Didn’t Surge This Year Overall


According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, texting — beloved, good old American texting — is starting to be slightly less new and exciting. The average number of texts per day sent and received by Americans only increased a tiny bit this year, though it’s still more than 40. (Forty! For real.) It’s no surprise that teenagers are still texting their hearts out and old people still don’t know how. Some relatively astonishing figures:

  • 18-24 year olds send or receive an average of 109.5 text messages per day–that works out to more than 3,200 messages per month. The median 18-24 year old texter sends or receives 50 texts per day (or around 1,500 messages per month).
  • One quarter of 18-24 year old text messaging users (23%) report sending or receiving more than 100 texts per day.
  • Just over one in ten (12%) say that they send or receive more than 200 messages on an average day–that equals 6,000 or more messages per month.

There’s no word on sexting figures.

Other interesting data: college grads text less than those with a high school diploma or less; the higher your income, the less you’re statistically likely to text; “Calling and texting are highly correlated, with cell owners who text often also making a large number of voice calls, and vice versa”; and most people’s preferred mode of contact is still by phone call.

Aaron Smith, the author of the study, explained to Runnin’ Scared in an email that “Those income/education splits are largely serving as a proxy for ‘young people’–basically, they’re scooping up a lot of individuals in their late teens and early twenties who haven’t finished school and/or haven’t been working long enough to build up their income.”

Smith added that “The ultimate impact of all that texting is still very much an open question, but it’s certainly the case that even the most dedicated users need a break from time to time–in the same survey, we found that 32% of cell owners under the age of 30 had turned off their phone recently just to get a break from using it.”
[via Wired]