Adults’ texting catching up with teens’

By Anne Collier

US cellphone owners aged 18-24 now send “an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day,” reports the Pew Internet and American Life Project in a just-released study, and “that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month.” Which means that young adults are getting very close to the level of teens’ texting – well, teens’ texting about a year ago, at 3,339 texts/month, according to Nielsen figures (see PC World). A few other noteworthy findings in the new Pew study were that almost a third of adult US cellphone owners prefer texting to talk; 83% own cellphones and 73% use texting now; and both text messaging and talking on mobile phones have leveled off. Pew found that texting levels were “largely unchanged” from its 2010 survey, and the average of 12 voice calls a day is unchanged from last year. On the subject of texting over talking, PC World last month cited J.D. Power’s explanation that texting’s becoming seen as more reliable than talking amid growing numbers of dropped calls. In July, Pew reported that 42% of adult cellphone users own smartphones, which translates to 35% of all US adults, and “for many minority and low income users, those [smartphone] mobile devices have replaced computers for Internet access,” the Washington Post reported. Parents of smartphone users will appreciate “Understanding Mobile Apps” in the FTC’s OnGuardOnline site.

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