If you had to guess, how many texts would you say an average teen sends on a daily basis?:
If you guessed D, you are correct! That’s a whopping 60 texts on a typical day, according to a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Pew surveyed nearly 800 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 from April to July 2011 and found that teens are texting like crazy and aren’t looking to stop anytime soon. While kids in the overall survey increased their daily texting habits from 50 in 2009 to 60 in 2011, older girls between the ages of 14 and 17 increased their texting activity to a massive 100 texts per day. Yes, 100.
And keep in mind that this is just a very small sampling of the real texting behavior of teens. There are text-crazy teens who are sending out hundreds, maybe even thousands each day, much to the chagrin of their cell phone bill-paying parents.
It’s no surprise that texting is becoming the most popular way for teens to communicate with each other. Pew found that more than three quarters of teens in this age group (77%) have cell phones, and texting is taking over as the primary form of communication. Seventy five percent of teens send texts, making the good ‘ol ‘talking on the phone’ way of communicating yesterday’s news. Only fourteen percent of teens said they talk daily with their friends on a landline and only 26 percent said they talk daily on their cell phones. Nearly one third of teens said they never talk on a landline with friends.
With the communication behavior of teens changing so dramatically, there’s no doubt that this texting language is going to more pervasively creep into their verbal communication. It’s already started. That said, if you have a teen in your house or are around one frequently, it’s definitely worth brushing up on all those crazy texting acronyms. Here are a few that I’m sure are used very frequently:
CD9: Code 9, parents are around
GTG: Got to go
MOS: Mom over shoulder
P911: Parent emergency
PAW or PRW: Parents are watching
PIR: Parent in room
POS: Parent over shoulder
UGTBK: You’ve got to be kidding
When it comes to texting, there’s clearly a difference between the generations. Older ones are trying to keep up, as evidenced by this interchange below. I’ve posted it before on Screen Play, but it’s just classic:
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