Adolescent Text Messaging

Adolescent Text Messaging

J. Mitchell Vaterlaus (Montana State University, USA) and Randall M. Jones (Utah State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch110


Cell phones provide multiple mediums for communication (e.g., voice, text, video) and have become the defining technology of the 21st century. Text messaging (SMS; texting) has become a popular and regular medium for communication among adolescents. When compared to other age groups, adolescents are the most frequent users of text messaging. Adolescents are motivated to use this technology because it allows them to maintain constant communication with their social network in a convenient and private manner. Given the popularity of this technology among adolescents, research has begun to focus on the frequency of use and concerns (e.g., cyberbullying) associated with text messaging. The motivations for the use of text messaging, the influence of text messaging on relationships, and the culture surrounding adolescent text messaging have also motivated researchers and developmental scholars.
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Evaluating the use of text messaging trends on an international level has occurred for some time, primarily because cell phone technology was adopted by European and Asian countries nearly ten years before appearing in the United States. Investigations of text messaging trends in the U.S. are just beginning (Drouin, 2011). Dr. Richard Ling (Ling, 2001) of the IT University of Copenhagen and Dr. Virpi Oksman (Oksman & Turtianen, 2004) of the University of Tampere, Finland were among the first scholars to study text messaging among adolescents. Since the early 2000s additional research has begun to emerge on text messaging in adolescence. Scholars at The Pew Research Institute have provided large contributions to the current knowledge about adolescent text messaging behaviors (see Lenhart et al., 2010). Additionally, Dr. Sarah Tulane (Tulane, 2012) of Utah State University and Dr. Bethany Blair (Blair, Fletcher, & Gaskin, 2013) of the Florida State University have recently made valuable contributions to the current literature on text messaging in adolescence.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Youth Culture: Contemporary adolescents’ shared rules, practices, and beliefs that socially govern adolescent behaviors.

Textese: The abbreviated written vocabulary that has emerged with the prevalence of text messaging (e.g., LOL—laugh out loud, BRB—be right back).

Sexting: The act of sending sexual content through text messaging.

Cyberbullying: Using technology to harass, negatively influence, or intimidate another person.

Texter: A descriptive label for a person who engages in text messaging.

Text Messaging: The act of sending short text-based messages between two or more mobile phones. Also referred to as texting and Short Message Service (SMS).

Adolescence: The transitional time period of human development between childhood and adulthood.

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