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Cellphones Communications United States

Texting On the Rise In the US 468

Posted by timothy
from the only-a-decade-behind dept.
frontwave links to this stat-laden overview of trends in text-messaging among Americans, citing a few of its findings: "The average teen (even including teens without cell phones) sends and receives five times more text messages a day than a typical adult. A teen typically sends or receives 50 text messages a day, while the average adult sends or receives 10. Fully 31% of teens send more than 100 texts a day and 15% send more than 200 a day, while just 8% and 5% of adults send that many, respectively."
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Texting On the Rise In the US

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  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday September 20, 2010 @04:08AM (#33633376)
    I receive 10 a month.
  • Honest question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Paolo DF (849424) on Monday September 20, 2010 @04:13AM (#33633394)
    I always wondered why the Americans adopted SMS sooooo later than European
  • by psergiu (67614) on Monday September 20, 2010 @04:32AM (#33633500)

    How can "teens without cell phones" send and receive texts ?

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Monday September 20, 2010 @04:51AM (#33633576) Homepage

    Before I went to Asia, I never sent a text message in my life. When I got back after my first stay, I started sending text messages to friends and such. Many of them had never received one before, and wondered why their phone was making that strange sound. People would just rather call you and say what they want to say instead of taking all the time to write out a text. I agree...to a point.

    What's good about texts? Well, they're great when communicating with people who speak English as a second or third language. They have time to think about what they're going to say, and they have time to decipher what you say. Of course, mobile slang is extremely difficult for them. The advantages with native English speakers? You have time to reply at your leisure, and a record is kept of all conversations. If the recipient's phone is off, the network will store the message and deliver it when power is restored or when they pay their bill. Er...that's all I can think of.

    Negatives about texts? The laborious nature of texting means that the English language is horribly mangled in order to fit. The only real solution is a keyboard...T9 is a kludge and letter-by-letter texting is just too much work. It condenses thoughts into tiny pieces to fit inside 140 characters. Text messaging is horribly expensive for its cost.

    Frankly, I think a lot of people just send texts in order to be able to play with their phones. It's fun when you're stuck on a bus and bored, you can talk to six friends at once. But to get some work done or exchange real information, it's easier just to call. The bandwidth of voice is so much greater than that of text messaging. Heck, I even notice this with instant messaging (something else I never bothered with before Asia), it takes 40 minutes to have a conversation when the same phone call would have taken 5 minutes. People in my office will sit at their desks and send MSN to each other instead of talking. It's weird...a quiet office with no sound but clattering keyboards.

  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Monday September 20, 2010 @05:09AM (#33633676)

    Call me or e-mail me. I've got e-mail on my cell phone, it makes a plinky sound, I answer it promptly, and it ultimately ends up on my computer where all the real work is done and tracked. If it's urgent, or you have a question requiring nuanced answers, call me. If you're contemplating texting me that you're going to be late or some other little small annoying news, grow a pair quickly and call me instead. I'd rather a phonecall from an adult than a dodgey text from a weasel.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but for anyone with a smartphone, texting seems the third wheel on a bicycle.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Monday September 20, 2010 @06:53AM (#33634184) Homepage Journal

    15 seconds per message is a lot of time. Some of my friends pick up their texting habits from their younger siblings still in college (which I'm sure share similar habits of high schoolers). At least 20% of their texts are "sup" "u there?" "hi" "nm (not much)" "where r u" and of course... "im bored".
     
    One of my friends' (she's 26) text messages take 10-15 seconds to decipher because she only spells phonetically, and cuts out most vowels, which makes most words 2-4 chars long.
     
    Q.E.D. most messages take 3 seconds to read, respond, and send. 1000 text messages at 3 seconds each is only 50 minutes a day, and I once worked with someone in college who could prove she sent/received 1000 text messages (combined) a day, so it does exist, and it doesn't seem to affect their ability to work student jobs.
     
    Also, when you're unemployed (a student) you tend to have a lot of down time on your hands if you're trapped at home and don't plan on doing your homework anyways.

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Monday September 20, 2010 @07:15AM (#33634336) Homepage Journal

    You're missing bulk sending. You send "class cancelled" to 30 student friends in the morning, "meet at the pub at 19" in the afternoon and you're already 1/3 down the quota.
    Also, some people use them like chat apps. 100 lines of active conversation on IRC isn't all that much.

  • Re:Poor teenagers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tophermeyer (1573841) on Monday September 20, 2010 @07:42AM (#33634500)

    Honestly, I hope they find some better way for teens (or anyone, really) to send small bits of text to others with mobile devices in the near future.... I'm thinking we need some kind of stripped-down EEG device for mobile phones...

    The first thought that jumped into my head was that if your message is too complex to compose on a keypad why not just call the person? Old guys love to joke about this, but lots of people forget that their phones can actually make phone calls. At worst they don't pick up and you leave a voicemail.

    EEG enabled phones would be awesome for a number of reasons though. When you consider the possibility of implanted cell phone components you pretty much have the ultimate hands free device. I'm just no so sure I would want to give my phone access to my thoughts though. I'm an Android user, and as convenient as it is to have Google indexing my e-mails, voicemails, and GPS location I don't know how comfortable I would be with them indexing my brain.

  • Re:Progress (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xaxa (988988) on Monday September 20, 2010 @08:30AM (#33634894)

    you don't buy many groceries at one time do you? How many items can you list in 140 characters?

    How old is your phone if it won't do long messages? My phone seems to have a limit of 765 characters. My phone from about 2001 did the same.

    (Beyond that it says "Sending as MMS" (which aren't unlimited on my plan), I'm not sure if my 2001 phone did this, I've never reached the limit in practise.)

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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