Texting vs Calling

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Texting while driving can also increase the likelihood of running over and killing pedestrians, a 2009 study by the same team found. That research, which involved 21 teens and a driving simulator, found that texting while driving or even fiddling with music players while driving increased "lane position deviation" and rapid changes in speedAlthough 71 percent of parents with teenagers aged 12 to 17 years old say they know how to and do text, kids still perceive their elders as being out of the texting loop .

Besides not texting well in general, focus group teenagers said their parents often complained about text lingo – abbreviations such as "LOL" and "idk," which stand for "laughing out loud" and "I don't know," respectively – as well as the frequent lack of capitalization and other linguistic issues. To avoid confusion and getting a lecture on grammar, teens instead opt to call rather than text their folks.

Location updates and traditional checking-in remain common themes for parent-teen communication across both texts and calls, though a bit of selective manipulation by teens in how they address their parents also came out in the focus group conversations.

For example, when teens do decide to text their guardians, they may be making an effort to cover their tracks and not get in trouble for being at a party or the arcade. As the study said: "Since obviously there is no sound when texting, teens can text their parents when the background noise of their location would give away too much information on their whereabouts."

Teens also said that calling up the parents is best when seeking immediate feedback. One boy in middle school summed up teen texting behavior nicely when he told the Pew Research Center study authors: "Most of the time you usually call your parents. You usually call them if it’s really important, or you’re trying to get a hold of them to come pick you up. So most of the time you usually call your parents but with friends you just...
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