NEW YORK, USA – American teenagers are starting to prefer communicating via text instead of meeting face-to-face, according to a study published Monday by the independent organization Common Sense Media.
Some 35% of kids aged 13 to 17 years old said they would rather send a text than meet up with people, which received 32%.
The last time the media and technology-focused nonprofit conducted such a survey in 2012, meeting face-to-face hit 49%, far ahead of texting's 33%.
More than two-thirds of American teens choose remote communication – including texting, social media, video conversation and phone conversation – when they can, according to the study.
In 2012 less than half of them marked a similar preference.
Notably, in the six-year span between the two studies, the proportion of 13- to 17-year-olds with their own smartphone increased from 41 to 89%.
As for social networks, 81% of respondents said online exchange is part of their lives, with 32% calling it "extremely" or "very" important.
The most-used platform for this age group is Snapchat (63%), followed by Instagram (61%) and Facebook (43%).
Some 54% of the teens who use social networks said it steals attention away from those in their physical presence.
Two-fifths of them said time spent on social media prevents them from spending more time with friends in person.
The study was conducted online with a sample of 1,141 young people ages 13 to 17, from March 22 to April 10. – Rappler.com