Even though most schools treat the phone as something to be contained and regulated, teens are nevertheless still texting frequently in class.Cell phones help bridge the digital divide by providing internet access to less privileged teens.
This is a pattern that mirrors Pew Internet Project findings about adults and their cell phones. Parents and teens say phones make their lives safer and more convenient.Some 38% of teens were daily texters in February 2008, and that has risen to 54% of teens who use text daily in September 2009.Of the 75% of teens who own cell phones, 87% use text messaging at least occasionally.But teens make and receive far fewer phone calls than text messages on their cell phones. White teens typically make or receive 4 calls a day, or around 120 calls a month, while black teens exchange 7 calls a day or about 210 calls a month and Hispanic teens typically make and receive 5 calls a day or about 150 calls a month.Girls more fully embrace most aspects of cell phone-based communication.Yet both also cite new tensions connected to cell phone use.
Parents and their teenage children say they appreciate the mobile phone’s enhancement of safety and its ability to keep teens connected to family and friends.
One in three teens sends more than 100 text messages a day, or 3000 texts a month.
Daily text messaging by teens to friends has increased rapidly since early 2008.
Parents exert some measure of control over their child’s mobile phone – limiting its uses, checking its contents and using it to monitor the whereabouts of their offspring.
In fact, the latter is one of the primary reasons many parents acquire a cell phone for their child.
Those phones have become indispensable tools in teen communication patterns.