Until recently, my 17-year-old son rarely answered his cell phone when I called. It would just go to voice mail. But when I’d send him a text message saying “Call me now!” (sometimes “Call me now or you’re grounded!”), my phone would ring almost immediately. I made it clear that if I couldn’t reach him there was little point in me paying for the phone, and things got better. I think that it didn’t occur to Zack to answer the phone. Except for me, my husband and his grandmother, everyone communicates with him by text message.
He’s not alone. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center released last week, two-thirds of teen texters are more likely to text their friends than talk to them on the phone. Here are some other interesting stats from the survey:
MTV launches an online “morality meter” to help teens understand the difference between “digital use” and “digital abuse.” [Read whether or not parents are legally responsible when their kids engage in sexting.] Learning may be tougher for the teen brain. [Read about Frances Jensen, MD’s research into why teen brains really are different.]