Cell Phones and American Adults

Sep 02, 2010

Texting by American adults has increased substantially over the past year, but still does not approach the magnitude of text messages exchanged by adolescents. Some 72% of adult cell phone users send and receive text messages now, up from 65% in September 2009. Fully 87% of teen cell users text. Teens text 50 messages a day on average, five times more than the typical 10 text messages sent and received by adults per day.

Still, for most adults, voice calling is their primary use of the phone. They make and receive about 5 calls per day on average.

“Texting among adults has reached the mainstream and the charge is being lead by African-Americans, Hispanics and young adults,” said Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist and author the report. “Of course, none of these adult groups hold a candle to teens when it comes to texting, who swamp adults in messages sent per day by a factor of 5.”

Read the full report, Cell Phones and American Adults on the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project Web site.

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