Nielsen: Teens Sends an Average of 10 Text Messages Per Hour

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Teens

Texting is cheaper than ever before. Credit: maxually, Flickr

They may take time out for school and (occasionally) sleep. Otherwise, American teenagers are busy sending an average of 10 text messages per hour.

Researchers for the Nielsen Company learned of the stat after looking at more than 40,000 monthly mobile bills. Nielsen is the same New York marketing and advertising research company that provides ratings for television shows.

Turning their attention to cell phones, researchers also discovered that tweens send an average of four text messages per hour.

Roger Entner, senior vice president of Research and Insights, discussed the revelations in a blog Jan. 26 on the company's Web site.

He writes that kids "text in the morning before they brush their teeth and continue late into the night with the last text messages (also called SMS) sneaked in under the covers right before they close their eyes to sleep. Until now, there has been very little firm data available about how pervasive texting has actually become among the under aged."

Entner calls the results of his company's study "staggering."

Some parents no doubt feel staggered by the cost of text messages. Entner writes that there's a lesson to be learned from his company's research.

"Looking at the same bill panel, we can see that only a very small percentage of people who text message are doing so on a pay-as-you-go basis at the 20-cent-per-message rate, with the vast majority of users subscribing to plans," he writes. "When we actually incorporate the effect that the significant uptake of messaging bundles has on the actual price that customers are paying for each text message, we find that wireless customers are actually paying only one penny per message," he adds.

He compares it subscribing to a newspaper. If you buy the Wall Street Journal at a newsstand every day, he writes, it costs you $2 an issue. A yearly subscription is $119. That's an 80 percent discount, Entner points out.

"After all the negative publicity that text messaging has received, a look at the facts is showing quite a different picture," he writes. "When one takes into account usage, text messaging is very affordable and cheaper than ever before."

Related: Text Message Analysis Leads to PhD

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.