There wasn’t a doubt in your mind, right? Texting just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
I Hate Texting. And I do it, but the more I use text the more it frustrates me. Sure, texting has its place, but mostly it feels inefficient and slow, and when I use it I’m generally trying to say something without having to actually engage. Texting feels like the equivalent of getting the last word every time you speak.
This morning I saw a study on the latest statistics on texting. There’s good news in that study, but only a little: the mean number of texts sent each day per person has held steady over the last two years.
But as we know, statistics lie, and can be misinterpreted even by the people who put them forth. So lets look at some raw numbers:
Expressed “per person who texts” we are now sending or receiving over 40 text messages each day. That’s up from thirty texts per day two years ago according to the same data provider. Since not everyone texts (73% of “adult cell owners”), I’m not sure how we would compare that to findings from another data provider where two years ago there were 15 texts per day for every person, but I’m guessing it’s on the same curve. Interestingly, growth in texting seems to have flattened out in the last year.
But it’s not the numbers that are disturbing.
The article that pointed me at the study I pulled those numbers from was focused on one statistic in the study: 53% of cell owners who use text would (still) rather receive a phone call then a text message. I don’t know whether to be relieved or horrified. Again, statistics are like that; I’ll withhold judgement.
But I found it more than a little disturbing that the author went so far as to express a hatred for being called. In his defense, young Mr. Wagner did point out that there are certain times and certain people from whom he is OK receiving calls, but wow. Are we really becoming so self-absorbed and anti-social that phone calls are a nuisance worthy of hatred?
This is at least partially a generational/experience thing, so we could take the debate back to my old, popular piece on Older People, Younger People, and types of Intelligence. And we’ve seen that there’s a trend toward acceptability of the rudeness of texting while engaged in a real-world, in-person conversation. One of my kids has even made fun of his mother in a tweet, chiding her for … you guessed it … using her phone as a phone.
And please; if you refuse to adapt to and adopt technology you create a whole different set of problems for yourself. But texting as the preferred manner of communication? HATING phone calls?
We have a problem. And I Still Hate Texting.