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Duh!: Teenagers Love to Text, Says Study

Straight from the “duh” files: Pew Internet & American Life Project released a study a few weeks ago that reveals — surprise! — that teens in the U.S. are crazy for SMS messages.

In a survey of American teenagers, Pew found that 63 percent text daily with loved ones, including parents, while a little less than half text with friends every day. And 28 percent of the young participants say they never text friends — which actually makes some sense, since 23 percent don’t even have a mobile phone.

Here’s more about which kids are packing cellies:

  • Nearly 90% of teens ages 14-17 have a cell phone, as do almost 60% of 12–13-year-olds
  • Caucasion teens are most likely to own one, at 81%, vs. African-American teenagers (72%) and Hispanic teens (63%)
  • More than 90% of teens from households that earn $75,000 or more own a cell
  • 62% of teens with household incomes of less than $30,000 have one
  • Overall, suburban teenagers or those with college-educated parents are most likely to have a mobile phone

While these numbers look hefty, the percentage goes down if you eliminate feature phones or “go” phones from the equation. According to Pew, only about one in four U.S. teens has a smartphone, whereas 46 percent of of U.S. adults have one.

With or without smartphones, though, what the teens don’t do much of are email and instant message. That’s a pretty major differentiator between the generations. Almost everyone I know over the age of 30 email and IM religiously. But roughly two in five teens don’t (or can’t) IM, and another 39 percent say they never e-mail.

Do you have a teen in your household? Do the findings seem accurate to you? Let us know if you recognize (or resemble) these results.

[via CNN, source Pew Internet & American Life Project]


Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...