With SMS Leapfrogging Calls, Acisions Asks Why Do We Text?
Ofcom yesterday confirmed texting has overtaken calling as the primary use of mobile handsets. But, with the number of SMS messages sent by consumers has doubled in the last previous years to 150bn texts in 2011, why do people love texting so much?
Mobile messaging firm Acision has tried to answer that question with its 'Psychology of SMS' study, which surveyed 2,000 people in the UK and US - and concluded that text is a simple and effective way to avoid a potentially lengthy call. 16 per cent of UK mobile users, for example, have used the channel to text in sick to work.
The study also found that the average 18-25 year old sends 133 text messages per week – almost double any other age group.
"Teens thirty years ago may have phoned their friends as part of growing up and social development, nowadays they send text messages. The social reasons haven’t changed, but the preferred communication method has," says psychologist Graham Jones, who helped evaluate the results of the study. "People today are also compartmentalising their messages as they all have a specific purpose. Email is being used much less for personal communication and much more for business, whereas social networks tend to remain a medium to message friends and peers, sometimes on a one-to-many basis."
According to the study, men communicate with more people via text than women, but send shorter messages, which Jones says indicates they are more practical in their correspondence. Women, meanwhile, are apparently more likely to send long messages, and to say “I love you” via text, showing signs of using the channel to deepen relationships.
"Text messaging remains a functional communication tool, but still with a personal aspect, which could explain its longevity," says Jones. "You can say things in text you wouldn’t necessarily say on another communication tool."
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