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This chapter addresses the new roles that cell phones play in the communication patterns of teens. Lower income teens are more likely to say that they never send text messages, and higher income teens are slightly more likely to say they send and receive texts every day. Given how vital a mode of communication texting is for teens, it is unsurprising that parents have stepped into the realm of texting a bit more deeply than other adults as a way of keeping the lines of communication open with their.
Given the frequency with which teens text, it follows that they would be sending and receiving a very large of text messages and the data bear this out. The typical text messaging teen sends and receives 50 texts a day, or text messages a month. Girls text more than boys do; girls who text typically send and receive 80 texts a day, boys send and receive Older teens text more than younger ones: Teens ages who text send and receive 20 texts a day, while high school-age teens typically send and receive 60 text messages a day.
Older girls are the most active texters, with year-old girls typically sending and receiving text messages a day, or more than texts a month. Younger boys are the most likely to text in this manner. There are also some differences in text messaging by race and ethnicity. While white texting teens typically send and receive 50 texts a day, black teens who text typically send and receive 60 texts and English-speaking Hispanic teens send and receive just The mean of text messages are similar for these groups whites average texts a day, blacksand Hispanicssuggesting that black teens have a slightly higher baseline level of texting than whites or Hispanics.
There are no ificant socio-economic differences in the average s of texts sent a day by teens in different groups. Who are teens texting? Teens also report texting their parents or guardians as well as their siblings. This points to the central role of texting among friendship groups. In keeping with their greater overall levels of interpersonal Less than that chat linejust as interesting, girls and high school-age teens ages are much more likely than boys or younger teens to interact frequently via text messaging with friends and siblings.
The mirror image of the same pattern is seen among teens who say that they never text with friends. This gender trend is Less than that chat linejust as interesting in comments from the focus groups about how and how often boys and girls text.
A lot of exclamation marks. Other research has also shown that teen girls are more prolific in their use of texting than teen boys. At the same time, girls and older teens are more likely to text brothers, sisters and other family members than boys and younger teens.
African-American teens are more likely to report frequently texting siblings or other family, as well as ificant others. Texting can be used for a myriad of reasons and this study focuses on a handful of dimensions that roughly organize the ways in which teens can communicate with friends and family. Teens were asked about texts that support and maintain relationships and about texts used to coordinate meetings and to report locations.
We also asked about texts sent as a way to exchange information privately in situations where voice calling would be inappropriate or unwise. Finally, teens were asked about how text messaging is used as a part of school work done outside of school. How are you doing? More than a quarter of texting teens say they check in several times a day and another quarter do it at least once a day. Three-quarters of texting teens use text messaging to exchange information privately — with more than a quarter doing this daily or several times a day. Another three-quarters of text-using teens also say they have long message exchanges by text to discuss important personal matters.
A high school-age girl in our focus groups talks about some of the positives and drawbacks around lengthy, personal exchanges on the phone:. Older teens are more likely to text for a variety of reasons than younger teens. This difference is most likely attributable at least in part to the greater mobility of older teens.
Older teens are also more likely than younger teens to do things related to school work with text messages, to have long exchanges about important personal matters and to text in order to exchange information privately. There are few racial or ethnic differences in reasons why teens use a cell phone.
Teens with pre-paid plans are less likely to use text messaging to report their whereabouts. The phone plan that a teen has also matters in how they use their phones. Teens with prepaid phone plans are less likely to use their phone to text for certain reasons.
While all teens, regardless of plan, are likely to text to say hello, to have long text exchanges or to text about school work, teens with prepaid plans are less likely than teens with family plans to check in with others or to report their locations to someone else.
I used to have less. Um, so now it is fine, I can text whoever I want. So, if you got a text from me, it meant that you were important enough. While texting is the most common use of the cell phone among teens, talking on the device is also a central function. Voice interaction provides teens with access to friends and parents. The convenience of the cell phone means that they are never out of touch. This is both a positive and a negative thing in the eyes of the teens.
As one younger high school-age boy said:. Overall, there is no difference by gender or age in the average of calls made a day by teens — teens average 43 just under 11 calls a day, with a median of 5 calls per day. The only variance in the median is among younger teens ages who typically make or receive 3 calls per day.
There are notable differences in the of calls made on a typical day by race and ethnicity. White teens make fewer calls a day than either black or English-speaking Hispanic teens. White teens typically make 4 calls a day, or around calls a month, while black teens make 7 calls a day, or about calls a month, and Hispanic teens make 5 calls a day, or about calls a month. There is an economic consideration associated with the use of voice, as the type of phone plan a teen has also influences the of calls they make on the average day.
Teens with a fixed of voice minutes per month typically make 5 calls a day, while teens with a set amount of money to use on minutes make 3 calls a day and teens with unlimited minutes typically make 5 calls a day. Teens who pay their entire phone bill themselves make 7 calls on a typical day, while teens who pay part of the cost make 5 calls and teens who pay none of the cost for their cell phone make 4 calls a day.
Looking for a moment at the teens who own a cell phone but do not use the voice function, the youngest teen boys are over-represented. About half of teens who have a boyfriend or girlfriend call them on a daily basis. Thus while intergenerational texting is not necessarily uncommon, voice interaction between parent and child via the mobile phone is substantially more common.
Older teens with phones are also more likely to talk to friends on their cell phones frequently. Older teens are also more likely to talk with siblings, other family and ificant others multiple times during the day. The latter is partly due to the fact that older teens are more likely to have a ificant other than younger teens. Black teens with cell phones are more likely than whites to say that they talk to friends and siblings on the phone several times a Less than that chat linejust as interesting.
White teens are more likely to say they talk to friends once a day, and to their siblings and other Less than that chat linejust as interesting infrequently — once a week or less often. There are no differences by gender, age or race in the frequency of talking to parents on a cell phone. As we have seen in research, communicating frequently in one mode is often related to communicating frequently in multiple ways. The exception is in the case of siblings, where texters are more likely to talk with them by cell phone once a day.
Similar to text messaging, the type of cell phone plan a teen has relates to how frequently she talks on the phone. Perhaps surprisingly, teens who have an unlimited texting plan are more likely to talk on the phone more frequently with everyone — friends, family and romantic partners. Less surprisingly, teens with unlimited voice minutes are more likely to talk frequently with friends and boyfriends or girlfriends.
However teens on family plans — who share minutes with parents and other family members 46 — are more likely to talk to their parents and siblings more frequently. Of course, it is difficult to disentangle whether these behaviors are what drives users to select certain plans or a result of the plan selected. As was the case with text messaging, teens primarily use their cell calls to report on their location or check where someone else is. Or, like, what time I need her to come and pick me up. But, she interacts with us like just to see where we at, to be in our business.
African-American teens use the phone more for social interaction; White and Hispanic teens use their cell phones more often for coordination and location sharing. There are some variations by race and ethnicity in the frequency with which teens use their cell phones to make or receive calls for these different purposes. Among African-American teens, the phone is their hub for social and personal chats, while white teens and to a lesser extent English-speaking Hispanic teens use the phones more frequently for coordination and location sharing. African-American and Hispanic teens are more likely to use their phones frequently for school work than white teens, who still use it for this purpose, but less often.
When looking at age and gender, younger boys make calls less frequently for almost every purpose. In a counterpoint to the youngest boys, girls are more likely than boys to make calls every day or more often to report on their whereabouts, talk about things related to school work or have long, personal conversations. Similarly, older teens ages are more likely to say that at least once a day they coordinate meeting someone or discuss location, and are more likely than younger teens to say that they call to discuss school work or have long personal conversations.
Teens who report primarily using voice calling when talking to a boyfriend or girlfriend are more likely to report frequent several times a day voice calling just to catch up and say hi and for long, important conversations than those teens who say they primarily text message with their ificant other. Teens with unlimited voice minutes are more likely to make voice calls several times a day for all purposes — coordination, checking in, schoolwork, catching up and long important calls — than are teens with more limited calling.
Teens with unlimited texting plans are also frequent users of voice calling for coordination, checking in with someone, Less than that chat linejust as interesting work or long discussions — everything but calling just to say hi. Teens with plans where they have a set amount of money to use on the phone per month are also more likely to say they call people several times a day to say hello and chat.
In this survey, teens report that when socializing or communicating with friends, texting is the most frequent form of interaction. It is notable that texting and mobile voice are the most common platforms of communication between friends for all age groups. Communicating through social network sites SNSlandline, face-to-face and instant messaging IM cluster somewhat lower in the ordering of communication methods employed by teens. is the least used of these channels. The low placement of face-to-face interaction outside of school time is also of note.
Older teens are more frequent users than younger teens of all communication platforms. Relatively speaking, there are only marginal differences between older and younger respondents when looking at face-to-face interaction and. By contrast, there are wide differences by age when looking at mobile-based communication. The differences between groups for social network sites, instant messaging, and landline telephony were less than with mobile telephony but more than in the case of face-to-face interaction and .
Looking at the opposite end of the scale, not all teens use all channels, and the type of channel used shifts when comparing the older and the younger teens. In broad strokes, communication platforms fall into two : those that are used by teens of all ages and those that have been adopted by older teens but not younger ones.Less than that chat linejust as interesting
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