Texting on the rise among US adults: Pew survey

Sep 03, 2010
A woman sends text messages in 2008 on her Blackberry in Washington, DC. More American adults are texting but they are not tapping out nearly as many messages per day on their cellphones as teenagers, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

More American adults are texting but they are not tapping out nearly as many messages per day on their cellphones as teenagers, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

The survey, conducted for the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project in May 2010, found that 72 percent of American adults aged 18 and older send and receive text messages, up from 65 percent in September 2009.

Meanwhile, 87 percent of teenage users aged 12 to 17 send texts, averaging 50 messages a day, five times more than the average 10 text messages sent and received by adults per day, Pew said.

"Texting among adults has reached the mainstream," said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at Pew and author of the report. "Of course, none of these adult groups hold a candle to teens when it comes to texting."

The survey found that four out of five, or 82 percent, of American adults now have a cellphone, up from 65 percent in November 2004, and about the same as the number who own a desktop or laptop computer -- 79 percent.

While more Americans may own cellphones, they also have mixed feelings about the devices, the survey found.

Ninety-one percent said their cellphone makes them feel safer but 42 percent said they get irritated when they are interrupted by a call or a text.

Fifty-seven percent said they receive unwanted or spam text messages on their phone and 86 percent said they find it rude when people check their phones repeatedly during meetings or conversations.

Sixty-five percent of adults with cellphones sleep with the device on or right next to their bed.

The Pew survey on adult cellphone use involved 2,252 Americans aged 18 and older and has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

The survey of teenage cellphone use involved 800 teenagers aged 12 to 17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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