Like most people in their early 20s, I consider my cell phone a lifeline. It stores my friends’ numbers, has replaced my watch and is always with me when I leave the house. For someone so attached to my phone I rarely make phone calls, but will text or use Blackberry Messenger (BBM) throughout the day.
In Social and Digital Media class last week, our teacher Andrea Tavchar, caught my attention when she mentioned her son preferring her to text him instead of calling him while with his friends; reminding me of my friend who only responds to text messages. Is calling people becoming a thing of the past? As if I sent the question out into cyber space, Mashable.com discussed my answer yesterday.
In a recent project done by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, Aaron Smith discovered 83% of Americans own cell phones, and 73% of those cell phone owners use text messaging. When adults (18 and older) were asked about their preferred way to be contacted on their cell phone, 31% of adults choose via text message, 51% prefer a voice call and 14% believe it depends on the situation.
Young adults (between 18 and 24) send over 100 text messages each day, adding to over 3,000 texts each month for the average user. Now I understand why my dad switched me to unlimited texting. 95% of users 18-24 are texting at least twice as much as adults, and the study indicated people who own smartphones tend to send and receive significantly more texts. Could this be because of access to instant messaging applications such as BBM, WhatsApp or LiveProfile?
Why text instead of talk? Most responses indicated because:
- it can be done discretely
- there is a buffer in response time to think about how to structure your reply
- it is easy to stop. When you run out of things to talk about, there are no awkward silences.
- it can prevents getting in trouble. Parents can't hear background noises or yell back.
How do you use your cell phone? Are you a talker or a texter? Which do you think is a better way to communicate?
Here is my challenge to you:
Keep track of how many messages you send and receive in one day. The number will probably be shockingly higher than you think! Compare this to how many phone calls you make in that day.