Study: Adults Catching Up to Teens in Text Messaging

Paul Lilly

Call it a blatant stereotype if you will, but there's no way adult texters come close to text messaging teenage girls who send and receive thousands of texts every month. But that doesn't mean grownups are left living in the cell phone Stone Age, either. According to Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 72 percent of adult cell phone owners now partake in texting .

That still trails teens in general (male or female), of which 87 percent of those who carry a mobile phone keep in contact with friends and family through text messaging. And we don't even want to know how the comparison breaks down when looking at the total number of messages whisked through the airwaves, though Pew Research revealed this stat anyway. On average, your teenage son or daughter (or YOU, as the case may be) send some 50 text messages every day, compared to the "typical 10 text messages" adults send and receive on a daily basis.

But let's forget about the quantity -- teens are always going to 'win' that one. What's interesting is the steady rise in the number of adults warming up to text messages. In December 2007, a little more than half -- 58 percent -- of adult cell phone owners participated in texting, and that number jumped to 65 percent in September 2009.

"It may be that folks have been pushed by pricing into unlimited texting plans, which has the effect of encouraging people with those plans to text more, because they no longer think of the cost, and then text more often," said Amanda Lenhart, Pew senior research specialist.

Around the web