Text vs. Voice… again

Jeremy Liew passed along a report from Neilson Mobile that says teens text 7.5 times as often as they make voice calls. The report says that across the entire population approximately 1.75 text messages are sent for every voice call.

Why is it that text is winning out over voice on a device that was designed specifically for voice chat in the first place?  Is it just that circumstances often permit text chat, but not a voice call? 


6 Responses to “Text vs. Voice… again”

  1. Pete wrote on :

    Parents can’t hear your text.

  2. Joe replied on :

    Spoken like the parent of a teenager. :)

    Teachers also can’t hear you text. And you can read text in a noisy environment where you can’t hear a phone call. My question is, does that explain the entire 7.5 multiple?

  3. Scott Hartsman wrote on :

    The advent of portable, asynchronous, less-intimate communication definitely changed all the rules.

    Look at information bandwidth alone – How much bidirectional info goes between both parties in an average phone call vs a back-and-forth text exchange?

    Add that on top of the ability to do one-offs to anyone they know, anytime someone’s bored for more than 3 seconds, but less than 5 minutes for a call?

    Not a big shock, but a neat stat all the same.

    It’s just a more convenient, private, interrupt-friendly way of doing the same thing.

    To me, the more interesting stat would be one that we couldn’t really get:

    By what factor is text augmenting communication (communication that wouldn’t have happened otherwise) as opposed to replacing it (replacing conversations with texts)?

    My total non-statistics opinion is that it’s doing some replacement of conversations for privacy and noise reasons, sure, but I’d bet the majority is augmentation: Added info exchange, between more people — conversations wouldn’t have happened without the technology existing.

    That’s the part that makes it really interesting to me – more people saying more things to more people than they would have otherwise.

  4. ArmEagle (PotBS) replied on :

    Texting can be directly to the point. And it’s cheaper than saying hi, how are you … getting to the point… yeah see you, say hi to…
    It’s just convenient, also because it allows for asynchronous communication like email. But it’s faster than that.

  5. David Wood wrote on :

    Texting will also evolve to include richer forms of expression. The MMS standard for multimedia objects makes it possible to send photos and video alongside a simple and plain text message.

    As an example, Mogreet (www.mogreet.com) provide a service for consumers to send video text messages from the web or from a cell phone. The result is just as private and unseen by parents and demonstrates greater expansion of utility for cellphones and text messaging.

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