A new study put out by the Pew Internet and American Life Project describes the skyrocketing rate at which teens are texting. Over half of teens send 50+ texts a day, or 1,500 messages each month; one in three sends over 100 texts per day. Girls ages 14-17 text the most, and girls on average are sending 80 texts each day, compared to boys' 30. What freaks me out, though, is that apparently, teens are texting more than they're actually talking. Which, besides being a futuristic health liability, could impede on social skills needed later in life.
When it comes to girls vs. boys, the results don't surprise me; girls tend to be more social anyhow (I'm having flashbacks to the long pauses of silence I experienced when talking to my boyfriend on the phone as a 16-year-old) and likely have more to talk about with their friends. I witnessed this firsthand when visiting a friend's parents and watched as her 15-year-old sister texted back and forth with her boyfriend. While both of them often traded one-word answers, he'd reply with "yup" and "um" more often than she would (at least now we know how they have enough to say to fill upward of 50 texts per day).
I go back and forth wishing that I was able to text with friends in high school and middle school, and I'm sure most teens will adjust to more adult forms of communicating as they get older (or, adult forms of communicating will adapt to them, I suppose we'll see). Does that make me sound old? I can't tell you how many times I've started a conversation on this topic with, "When I was 16 . . ."