The average teenager is now almost twice as likely to message on social networks as to socialise face to face, and is sending or receiving 60 texts a day.
According to the latest report from Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, nearly a quarter of teens have a smartphone – and, boy, do they make use of them.
Around four in ten talk on their phone every day, 63 percent text every day and 22 percent instant message; however, only six percent email every day.
The amount of time spent talking on the phone is slipping, says Pew.
“Twenty-six percent of all teens (including those with and without cell phones) say they talk daily with friends on their cell phone, down from 38 percent of teens in 2009,” says Pew senior research specialist Amanda Lenhart in the report.
“However, the Pew Internet survey shows that the heaviest texters are also the heaviest talkers. The heaviest texters (those who exchange more than 100 texts a day) are much more likely than lighter texters to say that they talk on their cell phone daily.”
Older female teenagers are the keenest texters, clocking up an average of 100 texts a day each – twice as many as boys of the same age. However, boys are getting more into the texting habit too, with the average number of texts up from just 30 a day in 2009.
There’s also been a big increase in the number of African-Americans texting daily – up from 60 a day in 2009 to 80 a day last year.
“Texting is the dominant daily mode of communication between teens and all those with whom they communicate,” says Lenhart.