Home Texting: It’s Not Just for Teenagers Anymore

Texting: It’s Not Just for Teenagers Anymore

Lately, the discussion about texting has mostly focused on teenagers, who now often send hundreds of text messages per day. While voice calling is still the primary use of cell phones for adults, almost three quarters of all adults in the U.S. now send and receive text messages. According to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the average adult texter sends and receives 10 messages per day, but a minority (4%) now sends more than 200 messages every day.

About 50% of all adults who use text messaging send between 1 and 10 messages, 25% send between 11 and 50 messages a day, 10% send between 50 and 200 messages. How does this compare to teenagers? According to an earlier Pew report, a smaller percentage of teenagers uses text messages (54%) than adults, but those that do use it tend to use it far more often than adults. About half of all teens in the U.S. send 50 or more text messages a day and one in three sends more than 100 messages a day.

The number of adults who use text messaging has gone up steadily over the last few years. While 65% of adults in the U.S. were sending and receiving text messages in 2009, this number is now up to 72%.

A lot of Texting is About Location Sharing

When adults use text messaging, they mostly do so to say hello and chat (34%) and to report where they are and where someone else is (24%). Given how important location is for a lot of these usage patterns, we would think that there has to be a big market for location services (like EchoEcho) that make private location sharing between cell phones easy.

More Statistics about Adult Cell Phone Usage

  • 82% of adults in the U.S. own a cell phone (83% of all men, 81% of all women)
  • women make slightly fewer calls with their cell phones than men
  • 65% of adults say they have ever slept with their cell phone on or right next to their bed (and 90% of younger adults – who probably also use their phones as alarm clocks – say they have done so)
  • 42% feel irritated when a call or text interrupts them
  • 57% of adults with cell phones say that they have received unwanted or spam text messages (what exactly constitutes an “unwanted” text message isn’t clear in Pew’s question, however)

Logo used courtesy of Flickr user Dan Zen.

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