Survey Shows Grown Ups Texting More Than Before

Text messaging has been a popular form of communication for teens for quite some time now, but adults are catching the craze as well. A new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reveals that 72 percent of adult cell phone users now send and receive text messages. This represents an increase from 65 percent in September 2009, and 58 percent in December 2007.

The Cell Phones and American Adults report also shows that 87 percent of teens use their phones for text messaging.  Although adults may be catching the texting bug, teens still send and receive the most messages: teens average 50 messages a day compared to the 10 messages most adults send and receive on a daily basis.

"We’ve reached a point where enough other people are texting that (adults) are drawn into using it because they can finally use it to communicate with a substantial number of their friends and family," said Amanda Lenhart, Pew senior research specialist. "It may be that folks have been pushed by pricing into unlimited texting plans, which has the effect of encouraging people with those plans to text more, because they no longer think of the cost, and then text more people more often."

The survey also found:

  • 57 percent of adults have received unwanted or spam text messages on their phones
  • 90 percent of parents have a cell phone, compared with 72 percent of adults without children under the age of 18 at home
  • Most adults still use their phones primarily for voice calling. On average, they make and receive about five calls each day.
  • 87 percent of African Americans and English-speaking Hispanics own a cell phone in the United States, compared to 80 percent of whites.