March 20, 2012
This Just In: Teen's Primary Form of Communication is Text Messaging
Okay, okay, so the fact that teens today would rather send a text message to their friends sitting next to them than have an actual face-to-face conversation is probably not that shocking to you if you have ever seen a teen glued to his or her smartphone with rapid-fire fingers.
But a recent Pew research report states the statistics that back this theory up and the results are eye-opening. According to Pew (News - Alert), text messaging has quickly become the primary form of communication among teenagers over verbal and electronic correspondence.
In fact, of the 75 percent of teens that send text messages, 63 percent of them admit they exchange text messages daily with their friends and family, including their parents.
The study notes that teens are sending an average of about 60 texts a day, up from 50 texts daily back in 2009. While teen girls slightly outnumber teen boys accounting for 78 percent of cell phone ownership, teen boy texters are on the rise, now sending 60 percent more text messages each day than they did back in 2009. However, refusing to be upstaged, older teen girls (ages 14-17) tend to send and receive the most text messages with an average of 100 per day. OMG!
Parents and critics may be concerned that this new form of communication can be hazardous to the development of these young adults and the way they communicate in the future, however, U.S. teens argue that text messaging is a key way to stay connected with their friends and family, according to the study.
While we understand that our personal and professional lives are quickly moving towards the social and digital era, is this new form of non-verbal communication a healthy habit for today’s youth to grow up with? The Pew survey also found that only 35 percent of teens participate in face-to-face communication outside of school each day. Could this become the standard for interaction to come?
What’s even more interesting is that teens do not have the capability or the interest in exchanging instant messages or using email to correspond with their friends, according to Pew. "Nearly two in five teens say they never or cannot exchange instant messaging, and another 39 percent of teens say they never exchange email."
With teens having access to computers and smartphones at their fingertips whether at school or at home, this statistic to me is probably the most compelling. The question I ask, is will teens eventually adjust to these more professional means of communication as they enter higher levels of education or jobs that require them? Or will their generation ultimately change the way we communicate professionally in the long run? Only time will tell, but I for one do not see email going anywhere anytime soon, so teens if you’re reading this it might be time to sign up for a Gmail account. Gchat is just like texting!
Edited by Juliana Kenny
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