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Teens Prefer Mobile Texting to Calling

April 21, 2010

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.

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