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Teenagers Want Face Time More Than Texting Time

Despite all of the technology available to teenagers today, they still prefer meeting IRL to texting and “liking” each others’ Facebook statuses.

A new study out from Ericsson surveyed 2000 U.S. teenagers ages 13-17 to understand more about how they socialize through technology.

Texting and Facebook in particular have changed the way that teenagers date, particularly in the “courting” process which concludes with an actual date. The initial first interaction still takes place offline. In fact, when asked the question what type of communication would they miss most if it were taken away, teens responded with “face-to-face.”

According to the study, texting is teens’ second tool of choice when they can’t meet up in-person because it’s easy to do while multitasking. A study from Nielsen showed that teen girls text 1.5 times as much as teen boys.

Facebook came in a sad fourth place after texting and talking on the phone.

Teens see voice calls as better suited for adults. Google+ wasn’t mentioned in this report, but teens do say they’d abandon Facebook for it.

Another less-explored means of communication is video chat, which is mostly by 13- to 15-year-olds, who tend to have more restrictions than 16- to 19-year-olds. When teens video chat, they are often times doing something at the same time, including chores or homework.

When it comes to Facebook, teens see it more as an additional means of communication, and they tend to have far less friends on it than adults. Teens tend to only befriend people they already know, and have an average of 265 friends.

A recent study from Pew showed that 62% of teens on social media sites set their profile to private. Only 19% make their profile partially private, and a mere 17% left their profiles completely public.

Unlike adults, teenagers use Facebook as another means for expressing their emotions by posting song lyrics and movie quotes. There is no reason for this type of information to be public. For teens, Facebook is an extension of their real-life relationships. Adults use Facebook to take the place of forms of communication, using it more for exchanging information and less for friendships they have in real life.

Teenagers are also more likely to have regular mobile phones that smartphones. The 13-year-old age group is more interested in owning a smartphone than the 17-year-olds.

Image via Mediabistro.

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