Texting has become the dominant mode of communication among teenagers. Adolescent boys and girls may use their mobile devices to text at the same rates, but they do so for different purposes. Girls rely on texting to establish and maintain social relationships with family and friends, while boys generally use texting primarily for utilitarian purposes: to convey information. Tanya Basu looks at a new study indicating that girls tend to be more compulsive with their texting habits than boys, and are more likely to suffer poorer grades in school as a result:

The Pew Research Center study of Millennial communication habits, published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychology of Popular Media journal, found that texting is hugely popular among teenagers, with 63% of teens reporting they send and receive an average of 167 texts per day. (Only 35% report socializing face-to-face outside of school.)

“Compulsive texting is more complex than frequency of texting,” said lead author Kelly Lister-Landman, an assistant professor of psychology at Delaware County Community College. “It involves trying and failing to cut back on texting, becoming defensive when challenged about the behavior, and feeling frustrated when one can’t do it.”


This is how teenagers prefer to communicate with one another nowadays, according to the Pew study:

  • 63% text.
  • 39% talk by cell phone.
  • 35% face-to-face socializing outside of school.
  • 29% social media messaging.
  • 22% instant messaging.
  • 19% talking on landlines.
  • 6% email.


Just don’t text while you drive. Please!