BoyGeniusReport.com ran a story earlier this weekend that on average, teens send over 3,000 text messages a month.
“[Y]ou may or may not be surprised to know that U.S. teens, on average, send 3,339 text messages per month. The numbers come courtesy of analytics company Nielsen who analyzed the cellular habits of over 3,000 teens in April, May, and June. The study finds the males between the age of 13 and 17 send roughly 2,539 texts per month while females send a blistering 4,050.”
Call me old fashioned, but if I had that much to say, I’d save the stress on my thumbs and, you know, call the person on the phone. Now I’ll be the first to admit that text messaging has it’s place. For example, my wife works in a place where she can’t talk on her phone, and we have to send email or text messages.
When wireless carriers are counting text messages against your plan, they count both incoming and outgoing messages. It would be interesting to see if the numbers Nielson is reporting are outbound text messages by teens or not. If Nielsen is only counting outgoing messages, these are really some staggering numbers.
Bottom line: Parents if your kids have a cell phone capable of sending text messages, do yourself a favor and purchase the unlimited plan or have the text messaging service(s) blocked on their phone number. Or, better yet, tell your child that they will have to pay the monthly service fee for the unlimited text messaging plan, if not the entire bill.
MacWorld.com is reporting that New Mexico Senator, Tom Udall (D) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are looking at possible ways to use smartphone technology to alert consumers when they are about to reach their cellular plan’s monthly cap.
According to MacWorld, “[t]he FCC began seeking public comment about bill shock in May, and the agency released a survey later in the month that found 17 percent of respondents had experienced sudden billing increases, even though they hadn’t changed their calling or texting plans.”
“The texting and Internet capabilities that make today’s cell phones more useful than ever should be applied to help customers avoid bill shock,” Udall said when introducing the bill. “Sending an automatic text or e-mail notification to a person’s phone is a simple, cost-effective solution that should not place a burden on cell phone companies and will go a long way toward reducing the pain of bill shock by customers.”
Here in the United States, purchasing a smartphone is sort of a catch-22. We all like playing low prices for our new gadgets, but often those low prices are accompanied with a two year service contract, effectively locking you into the service agreement. You can exit the contract early, however, you can be subject to $300+ early termination fees (ETF). I think that I would like to see the phone companies being more proactive to let people know when they are about to reach their contracted usage limits. Too often I’ve heard from parents about teen texting bills and being caught off guard about how expensive the monthly bill was. (By the way, it costs less than 2-cents to process a text message, yet the average cost charged for a text message is anywhere from 15 to 25-cents, depending on your plan.)
I was just reading an interesting fact published in the March 8 Time, which should be on newsstands now.
In 2002 there was an estimated 1 billion cell phones in use worldwide. In 2009, there was an estimated 4.6 billion cell phones in use.