Monday, October 18, 2010

3,339 and Growing

How many texts does the average American teenager send in a month? Answer: 3,339. Texting is (says the CNN report) "on the rise," as if anyone needed a report to tell us this.

"Our society has gone mad with texting." "Teen females send an incredible 4,050 text per month, while teen males send an average of 2,539 texts. Teens are sending 8 percent more texts than they were this time last year."

The report states: "These stats are eye-popping, but what's even more amazing is that these numbers only keep rising. Texting, data usage and app downloads are nowhere near their peak, but one has to wonder: how many texts is the average teenager actually capable of sending? What's the limit?" If one could constantly stay awake then, theoretically, one could achieve 100% texting. One's being would become, metaphysically, "Texting." I text, therefore I am. I am. I am a Text.

But so what? For me it's this. I have couples in my church whose major mode of commuication is texting. I have counseled marriage in crisis to stop negative-texting and speak face-to-face. My advice is, mostly, no taken. Some couples now cannot communicate except by texting. Should I offer a "save your marriage" conference that's entirely done via texting? Except...  I don't send or receive texts. (See the right side of the Nielsen report chart above.)

(See also Nicholas Carr's The Shallows on how texting is morphing our neuroplastic brains.)