Has text messaging replaced calling as the preferred manner of communication for Americans? Not yet, but it is getting much closer, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
The survey found that an astounding 31 percent of American adults would rather hear from you via text than actually talk to you on the phone. Another 53 percent still prefer audible communication, while the remaining respondents indicated that their contact method of choice is dependent on the situation.
Not surprisingly, heavy text users are much more likely to prefer chatting with their thumbs than those who text on a more moderate basis. More than half of respondents who admitted to sending more than 50 texts a day said they favor the act over calling.
Even less surprising, mobile users between the ages of 18 and 24 were found to be the most prolific texters, exchanging a near-unbelievable average of 109.5 messages on a normal day. This adds up to more than 3,200 texts in a given month.
In contrast, the average cell phone owner makes or receives only 12 calls per day – a number that hasn't increased since last year's survey.
The study underscores an ongoing argument in the tech world as to whether messaging and social media innovations are actually accomplishing what they claim. Sure they are connecting users, but aren't they also isolating people behind their PCs and mobile devices?
Reminds me of this brilliant new Toyota Venza commercial that satirizes the gradual move toward replacing human interactions with digital ones – at least among twenty-somethings:
In an earlier survey, Pew found that more than one-fourth of all adult mobile users leverage location-based services to get directions or recommendations in their given area. Meanwhile, less than 5 percent use their mobile phone's GPS to engage in geosocial check-in services like Foursquare or Gowalla.
Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell