A report published by Ofcom earlier this week revealed that we’re a nation of texters and many of us would rather send a quick SMS rather than pick up the phone or rely on social media. So what is it about texting that makes it so damn handy and addictive?
Messaging company Acision recently teamed up with psychologist Graham Jones in an attempt to get to the bottom of our texting habits and launched its findings this week in its ‘Psychology of SMS’ research paper. More than 2000 people were interviewed in both the UK and the US and the results show that texting is just as cool as it was back in 2005. Many of the results aren’t really that surprising, but here we go…
According to the study, 92% of smartphone users still prefer to text despite the fact that they have instant access to Instant Messaging services and social networks. When it comes to the age groups that are most addicted to the SMS, the most prolific texters are unsurprisingly 18 to 25 year olds, who send on average more than 130 texts per week, which is almost double that of any other age group.
We do love a good gender split and according to the research, men communicate via text much more than women and have an average of 17 people that they text often, choosing to send short and functional messages. On the other hand us deep and complicated women like to send longer messages with only an average of 13 contacts.
It’s hardly surprising that a big 69% of respondents said that even with social media, the traditional phone call and emails they’d be completely lost if they couldn’t regularly text their friends, family and colleagues.
But when it comes down to the nitty gritty of why we still love to text, psychologist Graham Jones thinks it’s because despite the fact we can communicate in a variety of ways nowadays, texting still occupies a space not even emails or a quick Facebook message can fill:
“The findings of this study show that text messaging remains popular, and I believe this comes down to trust and reliability. If a user sends a message via a social network, it may feel less immediate, and there are more technological hurdles which could hinder the delivery. Texting however often elicits an immediate response. Indeed, text messaging could become even more popular as it evolves and is used by more enterprises to reach consumers.
“Additionally, the introduction of a plethora of new messaging services may mean that people may get confused and fall back on the reliable SMS. Running in the back of the human mind is the need to do everything with the least possible effort, and we instinctively search for the easiest way to communicate. This is why we rely on and still love text messaging.”
[Image via jhaymesisvip’s flickr]