Teens now prefer texting to face-to-face communication

“Today’s teens prefer texting over in-person communication, use social media multiple times a day, and admit that digital distractions interfere with homework, personal relationships and sleep, according to a new survey of 13- to 17-year-olds,” Kim Hart reports for Axios. “The study by Common Sense Media, a non-profit group focused on tech and media’s impact on kids, shows teens have a complicated relationship with technology.”

“The proportion of teens who prefer in-person interaction has plummeted from 49% in 2012 to 32% in 2018,” Hart reports. “Texting is now the favorite mode of communication.”

“55% say they hardly ever or never put their devices away when hanging out with friends,” Hart reports. “25% say using social media makes them feel less lonely, compared to 3% who say it makes them feel more lonely. Yes, but: Still, more than two-thirds of teens agree with the statement, ‘social media has a negative impact on many people my age.’ And 40% agree with the statement, ‘I sometimes wish I could go back to a time when there was no such thing as social media.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For even more proof that Steve Jobs was an unparalleled visionary (as if we needed any), from The New York Times, September 10, 2014, Nick Bilton recounts a conversation he had with Steve Jobs in late 2010:

Bilton: So, your kids must love the iPad?
Jobs: They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.

“Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends,” Bilton reported. “I was perplexed by this parenting style. After all, most parents seem to take the opposite approach, letting their children bathe in the glow of tablets, smartphones and computers, day and night.”

Bilton reported, “Yet these tech C.E.O.’s seem to know something that the rest of us don’t.”

Read more in the full article here.
U.S. teens engage with Apple’s iMessage more than any other social platform – August 22, 2017
Has Steve Jobs’ iPhone destroyed a generation? – August 3, 2017
Study: Frequent social media use linked to poor mental health in teens – July 29, 2015


  1. Never, talking you can express so much more than with text. Texting is very convenient, but nothing beats a one to one with a real human to really get your point across.

    1. I disagree. The writing process forces you to collect, organize, and edit your thoughts. We’ve all sat through painful meetings where we’ve endured someone’s warbling stream of consciousness, irrelevant digressions and tangents and all. And after all that, there’s no record of the conversation to clarify anyone’s memory unless you record it, which may not be illegal but many feel to be a violation.

      There are certainly times where a vocal conversation helps – particularly in more personal or emotional relationships – but it’s not every time. It’s not even most of the time.

  2. What tech CEOs know that the rest of us don’t is that that they want their children to develop normally, and e-networking is an unnatural environment. Yet being the acquisitive humans they are, they can’t bring themselves to arrest their sales by emphasising the downside of tech revealed in scientific research. They know the addictive potential of online gaming, for example, yet downplay it by sponsoring research to gloss the issue. That’s hardly more ethical than what tobacco company executives did to recruit new addicts by targeting young people in their adverts. The much-touted rating systems and parental controls only work when parents actually have control, which realistically does not happen past a certain age. Government regulation is even more useless.

  3. This is coming out now?!? I have worked with youth for years and assumed that this was the case over 10 years ago. I don’t see many that use a phone to actually talk.
    Anecdotally, II remember hearing conversation where a parent asked her daughter if a friend had joined them for an activity the prior night. The daughter replied, “No because she didn’t text back.” That was over 10 years ago.

  4. In so many situations texting works better.

    Your Apple Watch will convert your spoken words to text as will the Car Play interface while driving. In CarPlay it will read it to you so you can keep your eyes on the road.

    It amazes me to see so many people texting while driving or talking into a handheld cell phone while driving a car with integrated Bluetooth.

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