Nearly one-third of Americans prefer texting to calling (survey)

Summary:Texting is gaining on voice calls as the most-preferred form of communication on cell phones, based on a new survey.

While most Americans still prefer to talk on the phone to texting, the latter form of phone-based communication is growing in popularity.

A new survey from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 83 percent of American adults own cell phones, and almost three-quarters of that segment (73 percent) send and receive text messages.

Voice calling still comes in at number one as the most preferred form between that and texting with 53 percent of the vote. Yet, texting is gaining as 31 percent of respondents said they prefer texting to talking on the phone. Just 14 percent were undecided and replied it depends on the situation. (For example, likely due to the length of the message and how time-sensitive an issue might be.)

This isn't terribly surprising: Young adults were found to be the "most avid texters by a wide margin." Members of this group, identified as between the ages of 18 and 24, exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day, which equates to more than 3,200 texts per month.

However, there's the possibility that these figures could change as many mobile carriers are beginning to charge more for texting. Either this will not inhibit younger cell phone owners from texting because they're so addicted already, or they'll reduce the amount of texts they send (and therefore probably receive) to keep within a modest budget.

For reference, the survey is based on responses from 2,277 adults ages 18 and older. Interviews were conducted between April 26 and May 22, 2011, including (appropriately enough) 755 cell phone interviews.


Topics: Mobility


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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