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How many hours do students spend texting every day?

By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor
April 15th, 2011

Students say they receive more than 100 texts a day.

Sending and receiving rapid-fire text messages may be college students’ favorite pastime, as new research from a small Pennsylvania university says the typical student spends three hours every day on their cell phone keyboard.

Texting rarely gets a student’s undivided attention – multitasking is common among respondents – but text messaging trumps online chatting and Facebook, eMail, and search engine usage, according to the survey conducted by Reynol Junco, an associate professor at Lock Haven University and a social media researcher.

Junco, who released the survey results March 7, said on his blog that it was uncertain how accurate the student texting estimate was, because a four-text exchange might take place over an hour, but reading and responding may have taken just a few minutes.

“One must ask – how long does it take a student to send a text message?” Junco said, adding that he would further analyze the survey results. “Clearly, a question for further research.”

Three hours, however, is the average estimate of the 2,500 students who participated in Junco’s survey. That number might be closer to one hour, Junco said.

Students sent 96 texts every day and received 104, according to the survey results.

Asking students about which technologies they used most, Junco found that web searches rank second to text messaging – at about two hours a day — with Facebook usage third at more than an hour and a half.

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