Teens send tons of text messages, do you?

According to study by Nielsen teens in the U.S. average 3,339 texts a month. That’s a bunch of text messages. Let’s say you have a teen in your house and you don’t get them unlimited texts, you might be shocked to find a bill in the neighborhood of $334.00 in one month. That’s a lot of cheese for texting. I don’t understand why they don’t just talk to their friends, why text?

Nielsen found that teens send or receive an average of 3,339 texts per month. Those between the ages of 13 and 17 send or receive an average of 4,050 texts per month, far more than any other age group. The next closest group was 18-24 year olds, who send an average of 1,630 text messages per month. Those figures are both greater than the average amount of texts sent during the same quarter in 2009.

You can read more about these numbers over at Mobile Burn. There are some really interesting stats. I thought my daughter (17) was texting too much, but apparently she’s not too far off the national average.

I decided to go take a look at my bill. She has slowed down over the last couple months and falls below this average now, but I still think it’s too much.

Here is my section. I sent 32 and received 62. That’s not bad huh? Also note the 1.5GB of data used. I think I’ll stick with the grandfathered, unlimited plan for $5 more than the 2GB plan.

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Next up is my wife’s account. She barely uses her phone and she had 54 out and 63 in. These are normal people numbers.

Now for my daughter… Oh boy, 2,973 texts in and 2,167 out. In addition, she had 87 multimedia messages.

I used to pay $20/mo to AT&T for my daughter to have unlimited texting, but my wife started text some here and there. $10.00 here and there adds up so we hit up the $30/mo family unlimited plan. I get 200 free with my iPhone plan and I don’t think I ever went over 200… EVER.

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Do you text a lot? What age group are you? Is it just teens texting like crazy?

Comments

  1. Tommac919 says

    Kids today want it NOW with less of a personal connection… It’s easy for them to do it almost anywhere and now it’s considered rude not to answer a text within 10 mins!

  2. aftermath says

    I have found that the more effective one gets at communication the less one has to do it.

  3. Xavier Lanier says

    My SMS count is in the 100-300 range depending on the month. A lot of my incoming messages are automated (Twitter DM’s, banking stuff, etc). It’ll be interesting to see how carriers monetize all this texting- I don’t think the $10/unlimited party is going to last forever. I mean- look at your family’s lack of paid voice minutes. Under the current schemes, AT&T wouldn’t be able to make much when your daughter is old enough to have her own plan.

  4. Roberto says

    I throw in my 2 cents. I’m in my 40’s and used to think texting was dumb, a waste of time, why wouldn’t you just talk to the person and on & on but have come to change my mind. I text more now, although no where near the the averages presented here and a couple of things have come to my mind. In some cases in is more convenient. My job is spent working in meetings. If people need to get a hold of me sometimes this is the only way I can be reached for several hours at a time, and I can take care of these questions, issues, or whatever without disturbing other people. And as for why teens text so much, in some ways it is a safer way to get your feeling or ideas or insecurities across to friends without actually saying it. To me people will say things in texts (or from an earlier time letters) that they might not say say in person. Also by writing you may be able to form an idea somewhat better than verbalizing in front of a bunch of people. Long before phones people wrote letters. Back then letters were more personal, and when phones came to be more popular people lamented the loss of the written word and letters. So in some way I can see texting as getting to an actually more personal form of communication. I can talk to people on the phone and then its gone, but if its texted to me I can keep that to read over when ever I like. Just a thought.

  5. Anonymous says

    No. I use SMS even less than I do traditional voice calls, which is already pretty rare…and I’m 20. I just don’t have a real need for it, since most of my important communication is in-person. If I get 20 SMS messages in a month, that’s actually a very high number-the more likely number is somewhere between 0 to 5 per month. (Voice minutes-wise, I’m probably at around 100 or less average.)

    If this was my own plan, I’d probably still avoid it if possible, just because US SMS pricing is ridiculously expensive. Unlimited data + push e-mail would be a bit more reasonable as far as price-per-byte goes.

    I don’t know about my mother, but she’s starting to get addicted, though still predominantly voice-based in taking her appointments and notifying me.

    My stepfather, on the other hand…don’t even think of bringing up SMS/text messaging near him unless you want him to RAGE. I was told that when he was texted about a doctor appointment, he called them and INSISTED on a voice message in a rather angry tone. Note that he’s one of those older folks who think that cell phones are ruining society through reducing human interaction.

    I have a feeling that family opinions on SMS definitely have a large effect on it. A lot of families are clearly fine with paying the SMS tax, but I’m sure there are still several old codgers out there who are still vehemently against phones being used for anything but voice calls and may not even like cell phones at all.

  6. Anonymous says

    No. I use SMS even less than I do traditional voice calls, which is already pretty rare…and I’m 20. I just don’t have a real need for it, since most of my important communication is in-person. If I get 20 SMS messages in a month, that’s actually a very high number-the more likely number is somewhere between 0 to 5 per month. (Voice minutes-wise, I’m probably at around 100 or less average.)

    If this was my own plan, I’d probably still avoid it if possible, just because US SMS pricing is ridiculously expensive. Unlimited data + push e-mail would be a bit more reasonable as far as price-per-byte goes.

    I don’t know about my mother, but she’s starting to get addicted, though still predominantly voice-based in taking her appointments and notifying me.

    My stepfather, on the other hand…don’t even think of bringing up SMS/text messaging near him unless you want him to RAGE. I was told that when he was texted about a doctor appointment, he called them and INSISTED on a voice message in a rather angry tone. Note that he’s one of those older folks who think that cell phones are ruining society through reducing human interaction.

    I have a feeling that family opinions on SMS definitely have a large effect on it. A lot of families are clearly fine with paying the SMS tax, but I’m sure there are still several old codgers out there who are still vehemently against phones being used for anything but voice calls and may not even like cell phones at all.

  7. JeffGr says

    I’m in my early 40s and I guess I definitely don’t qualify as a heavy SMS user. I just looked at my trends from the past year. I only used 22 messages in September (Sprint doesn’t seem to easily separate sent vs. received) and my peak was 89 during January. The January number included a 10 day vacation at Walt Disney World where we used SMS periodically for coordinating different family members.

    Funny thing is that I actually use the voice features on my phone even less. It looks like I am averaging about 12 minutes a month in talk time and there are a few months where I used zero.

    I think the main reason for all of this is that within my family and circle of friends, we have gotten to the point where email, Twitter, and Facebook are really are most widely used forms for distant communications. Looking at data use, I average about 200MB each month on my phone (actually a bit less than I thought it would be) with a peak at around 400MB. Of course, that doesn’t count all the data use when the phone is connected to Wi-Fi networks, which includes all the time I’m at home or at work.

  8. greg says

    I didn’t use any texts until I added my 19 year old brother to my plan and got him an iphone… then it was like me 200 (mostly from him) and him 2k texts per billing period… when he broke his iphone I bought him this cheapo flip phone thinking it would slow him down and i could drop unlimited in favor of something smaller, but no such luck, in fact his texting reached an all time peak of 2649. Fortunately he broke the flip phone recently and I ate the $175 ETF and said get your own darn phone (and a job). FYI he’s 19 and I’m 31.

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