E-Mail is for older people, youth say in survey

E-mail is for grown-ups and US teenagers now prefer instant messaging to communicate with each other online, according to a survey released on Wednesday. Internet users from 12 to 17 years old say e-mail is best for talking to parents or institutions, but they are more likely to fire up instant messaging when talking with each other, the non-profit Pew Internet and American Life Project found, informs Reuters.

Casey Teague, 14, of Sandwich, carried two cell phones at Navy Pier on Wednesday: his own and his girlfriend's.

"I use my cell phone to talk to my friends," he was quoted as saying by Chicago Sun-Times, "and her." He estimates he spends 30 minutes to three hours a day on the cell phone.

His 16-year-old sister, Cassie, had her cell phone handy, too.

"I use it way too much," she said. "I don't use the home phone."

"I've got my own cell phone, and I'm on it two or three hours a day," said 12-year-old Omarah Scott of Chicago. "I talk to my friends, mostly about our plans."

The survey found girls' use of text messaging steadily increases. It showed a surge in the size of the wired teen population at seventh grade reports Chicago Sun-Times.

According to BBC News, some 97% of this age range have used instant messaging, and 57% have sent a text message.

They are also more likely to have bought something online and used the web to search for information on health, religion and entertainment topics.

A representative sample of 1,100 teens between 12 and 17 and their parents in the US were interviewed by phone from 26 October to 28 November last year for the study.

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