2 Text or Not 2 Text


The average teen sends between 50 and 75 text messages a day. Perhaps more impressive: the top 14% of texting teens send more than 200 texts per day. Now, we've all seen this. At the mall, at the roller-rink, etc., so it shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Yet, at least for me, when I see these numbers "in print," I'm still rather blown away. Maybe it's bcos when I was a teen, the only phone I had access to outside the house was a payphone and if I wanted to get a message to a friend, it was by passing notes in class or in the hallway. Somehow, I can't imagine passing 50 notes a day, even if I had the opportunity and it were that ez.

Mind you, I'm not passing judgement here. (ikr) I like texting. And I can sort of imagine enjoying keeping in touch with my own kid via text one day when he's a teenager. But still, the numbers floor me. Here's some others that really got me thinking:

If you text while driving, you are almost 25% more likely to get in an accident. Given that my number one fear in life is of being in a serious car accident, this particular statistic kills me. (j/k) Then there's this: 200,000 car crashes a year are caused by texting. (This doesn't include the other 1.2 million caused by talking on cellphones!) According to some studies, if you text while driving, your reaction rate becomes that of a 70-year-old. Not sure what that means for the 70-year-olds who are texting while driving ;-) All joking aside, these numbers are no laughing matter. Nor are the profits for cellphone providers who are making $65 billion annually off the texting explosion. And, of course, it's not their fault that we're overusing or misusing the technology.

Finally, I'll leave you with 1 more interesting #: 160 Ever wonder y texts are limited to 160 characters? U can thank communications researcher Friedhelm Hillebrand for that. In 1985, he conducted an experiment whereby he typed out a bunch of random sentences and then counted all the characters (including spaces) of each. Most of them came in just under 160. He also analyzed postcards and found that the average one had about 150 characters on it. Using this info, he convinced his Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) team that 160 characters was plenty for the short messaging service (SMS) they were working on.