Anyone use a drum as a communication device? How about fires, smoke signals, the pony express? How many are glad that the printing press was invented? Recently, I met with some friends and the discussion turned to the use of texting. Some people liked the idea but others were less than enthusiastic. How could texting be a form of communication? Where was the art of conversation? Alive and well – just evolving.
Nielsenwire published a report in 2010 on U.S. teen mobile phone usage which suggests that texting has become more popular than calling. Here’s a quick rundown on American teens, which is based on 1) data obtained from the monthly cell phone bills of 60,000 + users and 2) data surveys from over 3,000 teens:
- On average, teens send or receive 3,339 texts per month which breaks down to six texts per every hour they are awake. (And they read all of them)
- Ages 13 to 17 text the most, with females in this age category sending/receiving an average of 4,050 texts per month.
- Calls, or what Nielsenwire labels voice activity, decreased 14% among teens.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a phone that was text-friendly. I realized, even without statistical evidence, that texting was efficient, cost-effective and an immediate response system. Why was I hesitating? My 81-year-old mother, who has been texting for over 2 years, was way ahead of me. If I want to keep in touch with my son, nieces, nephews, tech-savvy friends and yes, my mother, I better catch up – fast. The good news, texting is easy!
John Powell, scientist and musician said, “Communication works for those who work at it.” Staying connected may take a little effort, but it is time well spent.