LAST CHANCE: Save $100 on PRO with code OCTOBER »

Real-World Education for Modern Marketers

Join Over 606,000 Marketing Professionals

Start here!
N E X T
Text:  A A

Teens Prefer Mobile Texting to Calling

  |  3,358 views

Cell-phone texting has become the preferred channel of basic communication between teens and their friends, although calling is a close second: 54% of teens say they sent and received text messages daily in September 2009, up from the 38% some 18 months earlier, according to a survey from Pew.

Three-quarters of teens age 12-17 (75%) say they own a cell phone, including 58% of those age 12,  73% of those age 13, and 83% of those age 17.

Among teens who own a cell phone, 88% say they send and receive text messages, a sharp increase from the 51% of teens who were texters in 2006.

Among those texters today:

  • 47% send 50+ text messages a day, or more than 1,500 messages a month.
  • 31% send 100+ text messages a day, or more than 3,000 a month.
  • 15% of teens who are texters send more than 200 texts a day, or more than 6,000 a month.

Below, other findings from the survey Teens and Mobile Phones, issued by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.


Texting More Popular Among Girls

Nearly eight in ten girls (77%) say they send text messages, compared with 68% of boys.

Older teens are also more active: 77% of those age 14-17 say they text, compared with 61% of those age 12-13.


Boys typically send and receive 30 texts a day, compared with girls' 80 messages. Girls age 14-17, however, typically send 100 or more messages a day.

Overall, girls more fully embrace most aspects of cell-phone communications:

  • 86% of girls say they text message friends several times a day, compared with 64% of boys.
  • 59% of girls call friends on their cell phone every day, compared with 42% of boys.
  • 59% of girls send text messages several times a day to "just say hello and chat," compared with 42% of boys.
  • 84% of girls have long text exchanges on personal matters, compared with 67% of boys.
  • 76% of girls text about school work, compared with 64% of boys.

Among all teens, texting is used for myriad reasons, including communicating with friends and family (95%), reporting locations (89%), and coordinating meetings (85%).

 

Teens also use texts to exchange information privately (75%) in situations where voice calling would be inappropriate or unwise.

Using the Cell Phone for Calling

Calling is still a central function of the cell phone for teens, and for many of them voice is the primary mode of conversing with parents: 68% of teens with cell phones say they talk to their parents on their cell phone at least once a day.

Overall, however, teens typically make and receive five calls a day—far fewer than text messages.

Some notable differences in voice-call use among teens across ethnicities include the following:

  • White teens typically make or receive four calls a day, or around 120 calls a month.
  • Black teens exchange seven calls a day, or about 210 calls a month.
  • Hispanic teens make and receive five calls a day, or about 150 calls a month.

Other Phone Functions

Beyond text messaging and voice calling, teens who have multipurpose phones say they use many of the extra features. Among the most popular are taking (83%) and exchanging (64%) pictures:



Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed more than 200 research sources and selected 64 of the best to create the Digital Marketing Factbook a 144-page compilation of data and 110 charts, covering email marketing, search engine marketing, and social media. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.


Unlimited Texting Plans Increase Phone Use

Fully three-quarters of teen cell-phone users (75%) have unlimited texting plans, while just 13% have a pay-per-message plans.

Unlimited plans are connected to increases in use: Teens with unlimited texting typically send and receive 70 texts per day, compared with 10 texts a day for teens on limited plans and 5 texts a day for teens who pay per message.

Most teen cell phone users (69%) have a phone that is part of a contract covering all of their family's cell phones, while 18% are part of a prepaid or pay-as-you-go plan and just 10% have their own individual contract.

Among teens who pay for their own phones, 73% say they send text messages several times a day, compared with 65% of teens whose parents pay for their phone and 55% of teens who pay for part of their phone.

Other findings:

  • Most schools treat the phone as a disruptive force that must be managed and often excluded from the school and the classroom, yet 65% of cell-owning teens at schools that completely ban phones still take their phones to school every day. 
  • To some extent, cell phones help bridge the digital divide by providing Internet access to less-privileged teens: 21% of teens who do not otherwise go online say they access the Internet on their cell phone, and 41% of teens from households with annual income of less than $30,000 say they go online with their cell phone.
  • Parents and teens say phones make their lives safer and more convenient, yet both also cite new tensions connected to cell phone use: 94% of parents and 93% of teens with cell phones agree with the statement "I feel safer because I can always use my cell phone to get help," but 54% of text-using teens have received spam or other unwanted texts and 26% have been bullied or harassed through text messages and phone calls.

About the data: The Pew Internet survey is based on telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 800 US teens age 12-17 and their parents, as well as nine focus groups conducted in four US cities in June and October 2009 among teens age 12-18. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.


Join over 606,000 marketing professionals, and gain access to thousands of marketing resources! Don't worry ... it's FREE!

WANT TO READ MORE?
SIGN UP TODAY ... IT'S FREE!

We will never sell or rent your email address to anyone. We value your privacy. (We hate spam as much as you do.) See our privacy policy.

Sign in with one of your preferred accounts below:

Loading...

Rate this  

Overall rating

  • Not rated yet.

Add a Comment

MarketingProfs uses single
sign-on with Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to make subscribing and signing in easier for you. That's it, and nothing more! Rest assured that MarketingProfs: Your data is secure with MarketingProfs SocialSafe!