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US teens confess to 60-a-day texting FRENZY

SMS and IM are hot, phone calls and email are not

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A rise in boys and older teens texting has pushed the average number of text messages American youngsters send to 60 a day, ten more than in 2009.

That means the average American teenager awake from 7am until 10pm sends a text every 15 minutes. The survey by Pew Research quizzed 799 UA teens aged between 12 and 17 about their mobile phone habits and the results show that texting has become the dominant mode of communication for the under 18s.

All teens questioned had access to either a phone or a computer. The 60-a-day habit represents the median usage rather than the mean number.

The boom was fuelled by a big increase in 14- to 17-year-old girls texting, the researchers found, with the average teenage girl in this older age bracket now sending 100 texts a day, up from 60 three years ago.

Boys aged between 14 and 17 sent half that number, 50 a day, but it was still a significant increase from the 30 a day they sent in 2009.

Phone calls were down for teens with and without mobile phones. Twenty-six per cent of all teens surveyed said they own a cell phone and talk daily with friends using their mobile, which is down from 38 per cent in 2009.

Fourteen per cent of all teens quizzed said they talk daily with friends on a landline, down from 30 per cent who said so in 2009. Social network messaging (29 per cent daily) and other forms of instant messaging (22 per cent daily) were the next most popular forms for teenage communication.

Only 6 per cent of teenagers sent emails to their friends on a daily basis.

According to Pew's 2011 teen survey, over three-quarters (77 per cent) of teens own a mobile phone. Twenty-three per cent of all those questioned aged between 12 and 17 had smartphones. ®

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