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

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.

TOPICS: Mobility

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.


Topic: Mobility

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

    Cellular voice quality generally sucks. Data speeds improve but it still sounds heavily compressed and garbled. Sending a text is easier and I have a history I can view. That way if I ask a question I don't have to try and remember the person's answer a few days later.
    • RE: Nearly one-third of Americans prefer texting to calling (survey)

      True. Voice quality of AT&T in US is really bad. I thought that it was due to my phone but then I traveled to Europe with the same phone and noticed that voice quality there was much better.
      Now when I have to call I always try to use land line.
  • RE: Nearly one-third of Americans prefer texting to calling (survey)

    That is me and it has nothing to do with call quality, text messages are quick without small talk.
  • But you never know when they read it?

    The problem I have always seen with text is you do not know unless they reply if they have read the text? Something important you should call and if I had my choice of evils for drivers. Talking is safer then texting in my book.
  • RE: Nearly one-third of Americans prefer texting to calling (survey)

    I cannot speak for Americans, but for we Canadians the reason for txting as much as is done today is, I suspect, is that voice calls are outrageously expensive during daylight hours and there is little alternative other than txting. I myself think it retrograde and back to the era of the telegraph and telegrams. There is no communication really. It is a pathetic replacement for human voice contact and for writing as per Emails or Snailmail. So life changes and the art of communication dies along with fine art related music, dance and literature. Where this will lead, who knows but I myself write many emails and put style and energy into them. For others, perhaps this is not relevant and the data is all that they want to elicit. It is their loss.
  • RE: Nearly one-third of Americans prefer texting to calling (survey)

    Sadly, the technology of text messaging has not kept pace with other forms of communication. Smashtalk is the next-gen of text messaging that ought to be in every smartphone and feature phone. Read the blog postings to better understand why Web-based group chat won't work and Smashtalk will work.
  • For want of a thumb...

    In general, I prefer calling. 10c buys me a minute's conversation, or 2 texts (1 in, one out). I wonder which will achieve more communication.

    Anyway, I don't have enough thumbs to text quickly.
  • Wish everyone would realize they can do it for free already

    I think that the phone companies are screwing themselves by making texting so expensive. EVENTUALLY all thee youngster (including mine, which I keep reminding of this all the time) will figure out that you can text each other for free over facebook, google or tons of the other apps they use. Once they all deecide to standardize on their facebook chat phone companies will lose all that money. Right now they are making it hand over fist on texting and shouldn't rock the boat or bring users attention to it!
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