Study: Texting Preferred Over Verbal Conversation

MIAMI (CBS4) – Whether it’s a busy street or a stop light, texting has become a part of our life and has taken over conversations.

With 83 percent of American adults owning a cell phone, a new study confirms that the majority of American adults prefer text messaging, with 73 percent using their phone to send and receive texts, according to a report from The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

“You don’t have to confront the person on the phone,”  said Miami resident Frank Sangiento.

Like Sangiento, apparently many of us prefer to write out our conversations rather than actually speak.

While texting levels have stayed the same for adults (text users sending or receiving an average of 41.5 messages on a typical day), young adults ages 18-24 are more likely to  text with an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day.

The report also found that some 55 percent of those who exchange more than 50 messages per day say they’d rather get a text than a voice call.

Could this be the end of the spoken conversation on the phone?

University of Miami Health Economist Michael French said no; it’s just communication evolving. French believes technology and our youth are leading the way.

“Sometimes with a voice conversation you say something that you didn’t mean to.  With a text you have a chance to pause,” said French.

Overall, the survey found that the levels of voice calls have stayed the same for the adult population since their last report was released in 2010. Cell phone users still make or receive an average of 12 calls per day while the younger generation keeps texting.

Results in the report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 26 to May 22, 2011 with a sample group of 2,277 adults, ages 18 and older.

More from David Sutta
  • adam braga

    If they only knew how to spell.

    • Jason Handle

      Texting is great. You don’t have to be surprised at who may be calling. It is a more direct way to communicate in that you say no more than you mean to say. Think of all the “Wells, Likes, and You Knows” that you don’t have to watse your time listening to.

  • Jay

    In general, spoken communication via face-to-face or over the phone, demands an immediate response and reaction. It also requires that the participants be “engaged” and responsible to one another on some level. Text, as convenient as it is at times, allows people to “hide” in some respects. It permits folks to control the communication to THEIR liking and respond when THEY FEEL like it. If you don’t feel like responding to texts, then you don’t (or respond whenever you feel like it) and if you want someone to hear you, then you just text them; Like a relative of mine that only turns on their cell phone when THEY want to make a call, but if you need to reach them, forget it. It is one way communication at it’s most selfish best. It is also a lazy way to communicate as evidenced by the explosion of acronyms and poor english language/grammar employed as well as the miniscule effort it takes to text.

    • l

      good post Jay. I agree

    • Japes Macfarland

      “selfish” “lazy” “hide” implying cowardice.
      Wow you’re just full of personal attacks and accusations. Why would someone want to talk to you?

  • matt

    Sorry Jay that you are so insecure that you need people to give you all their attention.

    • Bill M

      I don’t think it is insecure to require somebodys attention while you are communicating with someone. Explain how that is insecure.

    • DaleW

      And you are a moron…oh well. Guess Jay wins another one over matt. Sucks to be you.

  • Mary

    Matt, you are so right. Personalities like Jay is the reason i PREFER to text. We’re busier than ever these days – i don’t have time to engage with someone over things that can be said via text and move on. I never liked talking on the phone much – would prefer to see in person if i’m going to have a “conversation”.

    • ramicio

      I find a person who prefers to text instead of talk to someone has no personality. Who don’t you have time to have a conversation for? Friends? If so, they aren’t friends, and you are a horrible one.

      • Mary

        did you not read my comment? i said i’d rather see people face to face than talk on the phone. If they are real friends i do want to talk on the phone with them. If they are jerks like you, yeah, would certainly prefer to text and get them out of the way.

    • l

      Mary, maybe you should slow down and enjoy life instead of being to busy to talk to people. Could also be that the people who need texting the LEAST are the ones who are always saying, like, wow,

  • Phil

    Many messages in phone call can be relayed by texting.
    When will you be home?
    No need for a call. The problem with texting is the attention grabbing, both hands needed, requirement to send a text. voice recog for texting next?

    • Sa†an's Anus

      What you don’t have an Evo? Been using Voice to text for over a year now.

      You’re just not Y2K compliant, but that’s ok. You have been forgiven.

  • George

    Most phones already have a voice to text application.

  • David

    I think one of the most important reasons is because texting is much more private. It is easier to converse in public by text and not invite the whole crowd to your conversation than it is when you have a voice call

    • Portia2708

      AND, I for one what to extend my undying gratitude for that…sooooo, sick of being part of a conversation I don’t want to be a part of.

    • l

      Private? LOL YOu mean as in all of your conversations being recorded private? Funny stuff. People don’t like to talk face to face because they don’t want to be responsible for their REACTIONS to words said to them. Sorta like a child who doesn’t want to face their parents so they hide behind a wall or door.

  • zorki1c

    I’m an adult with a cell phone and will NEVER text. If a person doesn’t think I’m important enough to actually speak to me over a phone then I have no reason to speak to them. Texting just further isolates humans from other humans. Texting is for anti social morons. If the survey was among “adults” then tit most of been adults under the age of 50. My concern is the growing number of people texting while driving who have my life in their hands. Anyone caught driving and texting should lose their license for at least a year.

  • IntellectualHippie

    You suck….. in a B IG way.

    Spot on

  • zippy

    41.5 texts per day on average? Are you kidding me? I have plenty of friends, family and relatives but only manage to send about 10 on a good. day. And I have an awesome phone, I mean hand held computer to do most anything I want but I sure’s he11 not going to write 40 texts a day.

    • Old and in the Way

      I don’t know these adults referenced in the article. Maybe it’s a regional thing, on the coasts. In the Heartland? We still speak to each other.

  • Jack Kennedy

    Jay is right

    texts/email get ignored and allows juveniles to avoid being adults

  • denny

    for little girls and male little girls to avoid saying things to others they don’t have the guts to say. someone invited me to thanksgiving dinner by text last year. pathetic.

    • Portia2708

      And, do you want to know WHY they texted unstead of a more formal invitation…because, NO one lets people know if they are coming to anything anymore…they either just show up or not and the person is left either without enough refreshments or is left with too much food and NO people…people are sooooo rude today…just text and keep the drama to a minimum

      • l

        Rudeness has nothing to do with the method of asking or receiving a reply. It has to do with someone being well, rude.

  • cody

    “Replacing what is real by using technology”- Chuck Schuldiner

  • salamis

    The textual transmission eliminates the common experience of feeling frame that provides a source of creative inventions, and – truth. In this way the textual transmission close to the command and the transfer agent’s ends face each other as on a front.

  • Stephan Gregor

    Remember the good old days? Before cellphones, before texting, before FB? However did we get by in life without incessant, obsessive yammering, all mediated by technology?
    Oh, yeah! We spoke with each other. We tended to speak when we actually had something to say. We knew each other, we trusted each other. Who are You, these days, apart from a signal (noise) generator at the other end of a machine.

  • TextyWexty

    Texting is the perfect tool for girlfriends and work. I haven’t found any other uses for it.

  • Brutus07

    Go speak to someone with their face down texting constantly.. 90% of the time you will observe the social skills of an ape. Read their writing and you will notice they possess the literacy of a cave man. Think there’s a connection?

    But I’m sure the shallow and vapid just love it. Why make a real connection when you can just see print on a screen?

    Wht R U dng fuls?

  • Tyler

    I am 25 grew up building my own computers and getting every new gaming system as they came out. I think technology is a great tool and a pass time. I am now a successful business owner. I hate texting and Facebook. I guess I am weird.

  • Patriot

    My brother-in-law had to set a limit with his three kids (ages 13-16). If it takes more than two back-and-forth texts, pick up the phone and call. A quick, “I’m thinking of you” or a reminder is one thing. But if it’s important, pick up a phone and talk to me live.

    • SLH

      I’m the same way. I use texting for a quick reminder (“Don’t forget to pick up milk”), a quick “thinking of you message” (usually along the lines of “Happy Birthday” etc.), or something like “Are you free this evening? I have to give you a call about something.” More than a few messages back and forth, just talk to each other.

  • M 1

    Some of us are sufficiently busy that texting, like e-mail, makes it easier to manage our time. When you call me, you are placing a demand on me — I have to drop everything I’m doing to address your need. Guess who looks like the needy juvenile from my perspective?

    If it’s important, write it down, I’ll get to it as soon as I can. You may not be the most important thing happening to me right now. Get over it.

  • Toady

    I was at the CVS at the cashier paying for my purchases. I gave the guy some money but before he could give me my change he received a text message and had to respond to that first. I said, “Excuse me?” and he replied with “Uh … sorry”.

    It’s getting ridiculous.

  • Becky Littlefield

    A phone call requires almost all of my attention. By texting, I’m free to multitask while waiting for the response. Phone calls should be left for important matters or situations where nonverbal communication is key to understanding the message (like joking around, or flirting).

  • annie

    cellular providers charge less for “txting” than for voice. On my plan, I get 300 min/mo for voice, but unlimited texting. personally, I hate texting. I don’t know about other “adults”, but my fingers are larger than the keys on mt “phone”

  • ramicio

    People either trust blindly these days, or don’t trust anyone at all. And most of it is due to not talking face to face anymore. How can you know if you can trust someone through a text? You can’t. You need to see someone’s eyes to really know them. Even the voice helps a little in identifying a person you can trust or distrust.

    While technology can help us, some of it is killing being human. Technology should be used to save lives, not enable laziness and lack of personality. People are becoming just like drones.

  • Mary

    Needy people need a phone call. Secure people understand that others are busy and won’t think they are being blown off by a text. Some of you have some serious “I won’t be ignored” issues! Get a life!

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