SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

University study on texting teens

Posted by Admin on November 21, 2008

A few years ago the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Children and Families (UTD) started ‘The Friendship Project’ which was designed to see how children develop social skills and react to social situations. However, as those children got older it was becoming harder to track their social skills and more and more communication was taking place online and by mobile phones.

The head of the research, Dr. Marion Underwood, decided to change things around a little bit and started ‘The BlackBerry Project’ to track the text messages sent by the teens being studied.

Unlike many studies this one actually tracks the content of the messages, by giving the participants free BlackBerrys and storing all the messages sent.

Obviously there are some obvious headlines about the numbers of messages sent. Apparently one person in the group sent and received 16,000 messages in one month. While the average was about 1,300 messages sent and received per month.

However the study was about more than just that and Dr Underwood has seen some interesting results, especially about the teens using the mobile to talk to their parents, “there is way more parent/child communication in what we’re collecting than I ever would’ve expected,” she said.

She also found that the teens studied are showing real emotions that are not being restricted by the method of communication. “I’ve seen exchanges between romantic partners that are very moving and genuine where the two young people are talking about everything they like about each other.”

The study is due to last another 4 years. You can read more about it here.


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