Even Your Grandma is Txt’ing

Posted by at 10:09 am on November 6, 2008

New research from Sprint confirms that the under-30 crowd is definitely texting in mass, and they’re driving their parents to text, too. The number of adults who are texting has risen from just two years ago, when a 2006 Pew Research study cited that 13 percent of adults ages 50-64 used the text messaging function on their mobile phone. The Sprint study reveals that now 20 percent of adults ages 55-64 send text messages.

Seventy-six percent of adults ages 55-64 who are texting are sending messages to their children. According to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau data, 57 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds have children ages 18-24. With those kids away at college or living in different cities, texting is a fast and efficient way for parents to stay in touch. According to a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC), a text is far more likely to elicit a quick response than voice mail.

“In addition to the increasing number of older adults texting, we found that one in 10 adults over 30 don’t text because they aren’t sure how to,” said Kim Dixon, senior vice president of retail for Sprint.

Sprint offers their Ready Now service at their retail stores to provide customers with information on how to use phone service like text messaging and their One Click wireless user interface.

“This research confirms the anecdotal information we’ve been hearing from parents: Their children respond faster to text messages than to voice messages,” said Dixon. “But, the research also indicates that children are more likely to get a quick response from their parents using text messaging. Given the high response rate to -˜text message your children’ among parental age groups (68 percent among 45- to 54-year-olds, 76 percent among 55- to 64-year-olds and 65 percent among those 65 and older), it is pretty clear that the increasing rate of text adoption in recent years is fueled by our children altering how we stay in touch with them.”

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