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Wireless communication has emerged as one of the fastest diffusing mediums on the planet, fueling an emergent "mobile youth culture that speaks as much with thumbs as it does with tongues. At one of our focus groups a teen boy gushed, "I have unlimited texts . . . which is like the greatest invention of mankind." His enthusiasm was hardly unique. Cell phone use and, in particular, the rise of texting has become a central part of teens’ lives. They are using their phones to stay in touch with friends and parents. They are using them to share stories and photos. They are using them to entertain themselves when they are bored. They are using them to micro-coordinate their schedules and face-to-face gatherings. And some are using their phones to go online to browse, to participate in social networks, and check their emails. This is the sunny side of the story. Teens are also using mobile phones to cheat on tests and to skirt rules at school and with their parents. Some are using their phones to send sexts, others are sleeping with buzzing phones under their pillows, and some are using their phones to place calls and text while driving. While a small number of children get a cell phone in elementary school, the real tipping point for ownership is in middle school. About six in ten (66%) of all children in our sample had a cell phone before they turned 14. Slightly less than 75% of all high school students had a cell phone. This report particularly highlights the rapid rise of text messaging in recent months. Some 72% of all US teens are now text message users, up from 51% in 2006. Among them, the typical texter sends and receives 50 texts a day, or 1500 per month. By way of comparison a Korean, Danish or a Norwegian teen might send 15 – 20 a day and receives as many. Changes in subscription packages have encouraged widespread texting among US teens and has made them into world class texters. As a result, teens in America have integrated texting into their everyday routines. It is a way to keep in touch with peers even while they are engaged in other social activities. Often this is done discreetly and with little fuss. In other cases, it interrupts in-person encounters or can cause dangerous situations. To understand the role that cell phones play in teens’ lives, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Michigan’s Department of Communication Studies conducted a survey and focus groups in the latter part of 2009. The phone survey was conducted on landline and cell phones and included 800 youth ages 12-17 and one of their parents. It was administered from June 26-September 24, 2009. The overall survey has a margin of error of 4 percentage points; the portion dealing with teen cell owners involved 625 teens in the sample and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points; the portion dealing with teen texters involved 552 teens in the sample and has a margin of error of 5 percentage points. The idea for cellular telephony originated in the US. The first cellular call and the first call from a hand held cellular device also were placed in the US. The cell phone merges the landline telephony system with wireless communication. The landline telephone was first patented in 1876. Mobile radio systems have been used since the early 1900’s in the form of ship to shore radio, and were installed in some police cars in Detroit starting in 1921. The blending of landline telephone and radio communication came after the Second World War. The first commercially available "mobile radiophone service" that allowed calls from fixed to mobile telephones was offered in St. Louis in 1946. By 1964 there were 1.5 million mobile phone users in the US. This was a non-cellular system that made relatively inefficient use of the radio bandwidth. In addition,...