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Essay That Compares Talking on a Cell Phone With Sending a Text Message

Cell phones have for sure become the most vital part of people’s live. It is almost impossible to imagine life without them. Now they are affordable, easy to use, comfortable and equipped with latest feature the user desire. For people of all ages (from children to senior citizens), mobile phones are like a craze and the way of being ahead with the technology.

So, there is noticed a rapid growth of the mobile phone industry during the past few years. Ten years ago mobile phones were used only by a handful of people. But nowadays, almost all people have their own cell phone and some of them even have two or more. So, as technology has improved a lot, there appeared more ways and opportunities to communicate with the help of mobile phones. The most popular ways of communicating using cell phones are SMS (short messaging system) which is the simple text messaging, and the regular phone call (Tadeo 2009). But which of these ways is more popular now?

The same as previous generations, modern people, especially teenagers seem to be constantly on the phone. But now statistics shows that they’re doing a lot more texting than talking on the phone. According to the survey that was released in April 2010 by Pew Internet and American Life Project (Lenhart 2010), one third of American teenagers text more than 100 times a day.

The study of PewInternet shows that among teenagers between 12 and 17 the text messaging is the most common way to communicate with each other. It is more popular than chatting on the phone, e-mailing, using social-networking sites, or talking face to face (Lenhart 2010).

Now more than 75% of teenagers have mobile phones, and in 2004 only 45% of teens owned them. About 72% of all teenagers, or 88% of teenagers who have cell phones, use text messages to communicate. This shows a huge jump from 2006 when only 51% of young people texted on their cell phones.

Half of teenagers from 12 to 17 years old send 50 or more SMS every day, while 15% send 200 messages per day. Results vary by age and gender. Usually, boys send and receive about 30 SMS every day, at the same time girls – 80 each day. Older teenagers send more SMS than younger, according to Pew survey.

Teenagers like their mobile phones and use them for both, texting and talking, but nowadays texting becomes more and more popular. According to Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project Survey that studied teens ages 12-17, 54% of teens contact their friends usually using text messages, while 38%- using calls on the cell phones (Whitney 2010).

The fact that average American mobile subscriber sends and receives more messages than telephone calls is also proved by the research of Nielsen Mobile.

During the second quarter of 2008, an average American mobile user made or received 204 phone calls every month. At the same time, the typical mobile subscriber sent or received 357 SMS during the month — a 450% increase over the number of SMS circulated monthly during the same period in 2006 (Wire 2008).

Nielsen states that American teenagers from 13 to 17 years old were the most active age group in the second quarter of 2008. They sent and received 1,742 SMS every month. In comparison, as average teens made and received 231 phone calls during the same period of time.

The information of Associated Press also proves the increase of texting popularity. There is written that Americans punched out about 110 billion messages in December 2008, while one year before that (in December 2007) the number was twice less (Yen 2009).

There is also a need to mention that texting is popular not only among teens, but among adults. So, according to PsyPost, the use of texting by adults increased during the last 9 month from 65% of adults sending and receiving SMS in September 2009 to 72% texting in May 2010. But still adults send text messages five times less than teenagers ages 12-17 (PsyPost).

Mobile phones become more and more popular nowadays among children and grown up people. Both ways of communication, such as text messaging and regular phone call are popular now. But current surveys show that texting become more popular, especially among teenagers. Both ways of communication using mobile phone have perspectives of development in future.


Works Cited

Lenhart, Amanda., Ling, Rich., Campbell, Scott., Purcell, Kristen. “Teens and Mobile Phones”. Summary of Findings. PewInternet. Apr 20, 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2011. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Teens-and-Mobile-Phones/Summary-of-findings.aspx?r=1
PsyPost. “Adults use of texting increases, but still less than teens”. September 2, 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2011. Retrieved from http://www.psypost.org/2010/09/adults-use-of-texting-increases-but-still-less-than-teens-1785
Tadeo, Aaron. “Text Messaging Versus Phone Calls: Which Would You Prefer?” Jan 4, 2009. Web. 19 Feb. 2011. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1359568/text_messaging_versus_phone_calls.html?cat=15
Whitney, Lance. “Study: Teens prefer texting to talking”. April 20, 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2011. CnetNews. Retrieved from http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20002917-93.html
Wire, Nielsen. “In U.S., SMS Text Messaging Tops Mobile Phone Calling”. September 22, 2008. Web. 19 Feb. 2011. Retrieved from http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/in-us-text-messaging-tops-mobile-phone-calling/
Yen, Hope. “Popularity of texting edging out cell phone calls”. Associated Press. December, 16. 2009. Web. 19 Feb. 2011. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34436946/ns/technology_and_science-wireless/