For teenagers, texting on mobile phones has dethroned actual voice calls when it comes to connecting with their friends, according to a new report released today by the Pew Research Center, Live Science reports. The report also shows that when teenagers do bother with an old-school phone call, it’s more often to contact their parents than their peers. This trend reflects a digital divide between generations of mobile phone users but also some psychological strategizing on the part of teens. Among its many advantages, teens interviewed as part of a focus group said texting is a quick way to say “hi,” report where they and their friends are and to get to the point. “Teens tell us how [texting is] more efficient, how they don’t have to go through the preamble and niceties [of a phone conversation],” said Amanda Lenhart, a co-author of the new study and a senior research specialist who directs the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s research on teens, children and families. But for socially nuanced situations when the inflection and expression of a voice takes precedence over the brevity of emoticons and crafty punctuation, phone calling is still preferred.
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