Education

Survey Documents Explosion in Teen Texting

By Debra Viadero — April 20, 2010 1 min read

Daily text messaging among teenagers seems to be growing at breakneck speed, says a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life project.

According to the survey, which was released today, the percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who text every day grew from 38 percent in February 2008 to 54 percent in September 2009. And get this: Half of those teens send 50 or more messages a day. When do they have time for schoolwork?

“Text messaging has become the primary way that teens reach their friends,” the Pew researchers write, “surpassing face-to-face contact, e-mail, instant messaging, and voice calling as the go-to daily communication tool for this age group.”

The biggest texters, of course, are 14- to 17-year-old girls, who send an average of 100 text messages a day. Younger teen boys, on the other hand, text least of all.

The results are based on a nationally representative survey of 800 teenagers, as well as conversations with nine focus groups around the country.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.