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For years, Americans were bemused by the rest of the world's obsession with texting. After all, they had free local calls on their landlines, unlike elsewhere, and sucky cell phone calling plans.

These days, SMS messages cost no more than anywhere else - and America's teenagers are fast catching up with their overseas counterparts in their obsession for texting.

In its latest study of Americana, the Pew Research Center proclaims that cell phone texting is now the preferred channel of basic communication between teens and their friends, with cell calling a close second.

One in three teens send more than 100 texts a day - and presumably this percentage will rise. Some 75 per cent of America's 12-17 year-olds now own cell phones, up from 45 per cent in 2004. That looks a bit on the low side from a UK perspective - where just about every teenager has a mobe.

Girls are more text-chatty than boys, typically sending and receiving 80 text a days, while boys send and receive 30.

Mobile phones are the latest family battlefield, with most parents exerting ""some measure of control over their child's mobile phone - limiting its uses, checking its contents and using it to monitor the whereabouts of their offspring". Paranoia rules everywhere.

Pew Research summary
Pew Research report

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