Texting by adults has increased over the past nine months from 65% of adults sending and receiving texts in September 2009 to 72% texting in May 2010.
With numbers like these, is texting part of your marketing and communications outreach plans? Why? Why not?
Still, adults do not send nearly the same number of texts per day as teens ages 12-17, who send and receive, on average, five times more texts per day than adult texters.
- Adults who text typically send and receive a median of 10 texts a day; teens who text send and receive a median of 50 texts per day.
- 5% of all adult texters send more than 200 text messages a day or more than 6,000 texts a month. Fully 15% of teens ages 12-17, and 18% of adults ages 18 to 24 text message more than 200 messages a day, while just 3% of adults ages 25 to 29 do the same.
- Heavy adult texters — those who send and receive more than 50 texts a day — also tend to be heavy users of voice calling. Light texters, who exchange one to 10 texts a day, do not make up for less texting by calling more. Instead, they are light users of both calling and texting.
The original purpose of the cell phone is still the most universal — nearly every cell phone user makes calls on their phone at least occasionally.
- The average adult cell phone owner makes and receives around five voice calls a day.
- Women tend to make slightly fewer calls with their cell phones than men — while 53% of women make and receive five calls or fewer per day, 43% of men say the same. Men are a bit more likely to make slightly more phone calls in a day; 26% of men send and receive six to 10 calls a day, while 20% of women exchange that many calls. Men and women are equally likely to be represented at the extreme high end of callers, with 8% of men and 6% of women making and taking more than 30 calls a day.
Americans especially appreciate that their cell phones make them feel safer (91% of cell owners say this) and help them connect to friends and family to arrange plans (88% agree). Still, some users express irritation with their phone for the disruptions it creates, though the heaviest users of the phone are no more likely to express irritation with their phone than lower level users. Two-in-five (42%) cell phone owners say they feel irritated when a call or text message interrupts them. Cell phones are such a vital part of American’s lives that many users will not be parted from their device, even as they sleep:
- 65% of adults with cell phones say they have ever slept with their cell phone on or right next to their bed.
- Adults who have slept with or near their phones are also more likely to feel positively about their phone. They are more likely to appreciate the way the phone helps them to make plans (94% vs. 78% of those who don’t sleep with their phone) and to see the phone as a source of entertainment (52% vs. 14%). Phone sleepers are just as likely to express irritation with the phone as those who don’t sleep near their handset.
Spam isn’t just for email anymore; it comes in the form of unwanted text messages of all kinds — from coupons to phishing schemes — sent directly to user’s cell phones.
- 57% of adults with cell phones have received unwanted or spam text messages on their phone.
African American and Hispanic cell phone users are more intense and frequent users of all of the phone’s capabilities than whites. Minorities send more text messages and make more calls on average than their white counterparts.
- African American and English-speaking Hispanic adults are slightly more likely than whites to own a cell phone, with 87% of African Americans and English-speaking Hispanics owning a phone, compared with 80% of whites.
- African American and English-speaking Hispanic cell phone owners are more likely than whites to initiate and receive large numbers of calls each day. One-in-eight (12%) Africa American phone owners and 14% of Hispanic cell phone users make and receive more than 30 calls on a typical day, while just 4% of white cell phone users make and receive the same number of calls.
- African American and Hispanic texters typically text more on average than white texters, with a median of 10 texts a day for African Americans and Hispanics and 5 texts a day for whites. White adults are a bit more likely than English-speaking Hispanic adults to say they do not send or receive any texts on a typical day (10% vs. 4%).
Parents with children under age 18 in the home are also keen users of the cell phone. Parents are more likely to own a cell phone than non-parents, and more likely to make five or more calls per day than non-parents (63% vs. 44%), though they do not text more overall. They are more likely to have slept with their phone on or near their bed, and to use the phone for talking for all types of purposes. Texting is less definitive — mostly parents use it for the same reasons and similar frequencies as non-parents. Parents are also more likely than those without minor children at home to appreciate the way the phone allows them to check in, plan on the fly and stave off boredom.
- Parents (90%) are more likely to have a cell phone than adults without children under 18 at home (78%).
- 72% of parents have slept with their phone, compared with 62% of non-parents.
- Parents are more likely to use their cell phone’s voice capabilities several times a day for work calls (32% of parents vs. 19% of non-parents), to check in with someone (28% vs. 17%), to say hello and chat (31% vs. 24%) and to have long personal conversations (13% vs. 7%) than are non-parents. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to coordinate a physical meeting (18% vs. 13%) daily.
Source: by Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist, Pew Internet & American Life Project
September 2, 2010
Read the full report at pewinternet.org.
Question of the day. How do you market and communicate to such widely disbursed generations?
All of whom use different sorts of media? And, then how do you educate, inform, generate news, sales, and information awareness across all the different mediums and channels? It is such a dispersed world with so much “noise” out there. You start first with understanding key generations at larger niche audiences and how they consume information and use media types and channels.
Knowing how people consume media generationally, is one key knowledge point and the other is monitoring social trends.
Below is some useful information for your back hip pocket, showing the most widely accepted cultural U.S. generations:
The Lost Generation. primarily known as the Generation of 1914 in Europe, is a term originating with Gertrude Stein to describe those who fought in World War I.
The Greatest Generation. also known as the G.I. Generation, is the generation that includes the veterans who fought in World War II. They were born from around 1901 to 1924, coming of age during the Great Depression. Journalist Tom Brokaw dubbed this the Greatest Generation in a book of the same name.
The Silent Generation, born 1925 to 1945. This generational group includes those who were too young to join the service during World War II. Many had fathers who served in World War I. Generally recognized as the children of the Great Depression, this event during their formative years had a profound impact on them.
The Baby Boomer Generation. This is the generation that was born following World War II, about 1946 up to approximately 1964, a time that was marked by an increase in birth rates. The baby boom has been described variously as a “shockwave” and as “the pig in the python.” By the sheer force of its numbers, the boomers were a demographic bulge which remodeled society as it passed through it. In general, baby boomers are associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values; however, many commentators have disputed the extent of that rejection, noting the widespread continuity of values with older and younger generations. In Europe and North America boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up in a time of great affluence, then those of the immediate post WWII generation.
One of the features of Boomers was that they tended to think of themselves as a “special generation” that is very different from those that had come before them. In the 1960s, as the relatively large numbers of young people became teenagers and young adults, they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the change they were bringing about.
More on Boomer Generation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Boom_Generation
Generation X. This is the generation generally defined as those born after the baby boom ended, and hence sometimes referred to as Baby Busters, with earliest birth dates seen used by researchers ranging from 1961 to the latest 1981 at its greatest extent.
Generation Y. This group is also known as Generation Next, Millennials, or Echo Boomers. The earliest suggested birth dates ranging from mid to late 1970s to the latest in the early 2000s.
Today, many follow William Strauss and Neil Howe’s theories in defining the Millennials. They use the start year as 1982, and end years around the turn of the millennium.
Generation Z, also known as Generation I or the Internet Generation, and dubbed the “Digital Natives. The earliest birth is generally dated in the early 1990s, may have never ever used a manual typewriter, or a circular dial phone,
We’re well aware that the Baby Boomers are the largest generation, followed by the Millennials, hence such the interest in both.