June 9, 2005
Kids would rather txt than talk
According to a new global survey, today's teenagers would be lost without their mobile phones, but they would rather text than talk. Natalie Hanman reports on the lost art of conversation for The Guardian.
"While UK teens spend $304m on mobile music a year, and own a collective 4m cameraphones, texting is the favoured form of youth communication, according to the Wireless World Forum mobileYouth 2005 report, the result of a five-year study into how young people all over the world use their mobile phones.
Despite all the technologies that have launched in the last five years, SMS is still the leader," says Graham Brown, chief executive of W2F, teenagers are keeping things simple - and cheap.
In the US, for example, young viewers of the latest series of television talent show American Idol registered more votes by text message than over the telephone, and in the UK, teenagers are sending more text messages every year, reaching a projected total this year of about 22bn.
"It's not just cost," says Brown. "Texting is something immediate and within their control." It is also something that teenagers' parents often don't understand, because most (70%) use "txtspk" instead of fully worded predictive text. It's quicker and, it seems, easier to disguise from those prying parental eyes".
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