Researchers show that U.S. teenagers on average send or receive a half-dozen texts every wakening hour, which amounts to 3,339 messages per month. The Neilson Company shows that teens aged 13-17 text more often than people in any other age group. In this age group, girls exchanged the most texts, at 4,050 a month, while boys averaged 2,539 texts a month.
More than half of teens with cellular devices list texting as the most important thing they use their phone for. In fact, they list having a good QWERTY keyboard as their number one priority when buying a new cell. With so much attention on texting, voice calling among teens has fallen 14% from last year to an average of 646 minutes per month.
An older study shows that teens – or people of any age – who become obsessed with texting (or checking email) may have a compulsive-impulsive spectrum disorder and a form of addiction. Warning signs include:
- Excessive use of the computer or of texting to the extent that you lose track of time or neglect eating and sleeping.
- Feelings of withdrawal when your computer is not nearby that lead to anger, tension and depression.
- A constant need for more time with your computer and to upgrade your equipment.
- Experiencing a negative repercussion of the addiction such as ignoring others, fatigue, poor achievement, lying and getting into arguments.
94% of teenagers turn to their mobile phones for messaging, Internet, multimedia, gaming, and other activities, such as downloads. Software downloads increased 12 percentage points from a year ago, from 26% to 38%. Popular apps among teens include Facebook, YouTube, and Pandora, which streams music to mobile phones.
How many texts do you send and receive every month? Do you feel that that number is a good one? How do you feel about your texting habits?