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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 09, 2010

U.S. teens texting ten times per hour

When not at school or asleep in bed, American youngsters are texting. In fact, according to new research from The Nielsen Company, teens send, on average, one text every six minutes.

by Helen Leggatt

It should come as no surprise that teens text a lot, considering they appear permanently transfixed to the tiny screen, heads down, thumbs working ten to the dozen. To get a better idea of just how much, Nielsen analyzed over 40,000 U.S. teen mobile phone bills to determine their texting habits.

The research firm found that American teens send, on average, 10 texts per hour that they're awake and not in school. That's an average of 3,146 per month. It seems they can't even drive without sending and receiving texts - a deadly combination - despite the activity being banned in many places.

Research by the University of Utah found that texting while driving is worse than driving under the influence of alcohol. "In terms of accident risk, you're more likely to be hit by someone who's text messaging than someone who's drunk," said University of Utah psychologist David Strayer. "And that's a pretty alarming statistic."

Younger mobile users, tweens aged 9-12, send about 4 texts every hour they're not asleep or at school, or 1,146 per month.

According to Nielsen, text message use is expected to grow as older generations adopt the method to keep in touch with their children. "The average text message number has increased every year, but the huge room for growth that is still remaining has been underestimated given the penchant for texting among the 17 and under segment."

Tags: mobile marketing, mobile phones, SMS, teens, text messaging

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