Entries in Texting (15)


Texting While Driving Common Among Teens

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Teens frequently engage in high-risk behavior, notably sending text messages while driving, according to data from a new study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conduct a Youth Risk Behavior Survey every two years. Data for the 2011 survey showed that nearly 43 percent of teenagers reported texting or emailing while driving. Males were more likely to text while driving with 46 percent as compared to 40 percent of females.

Older teens were also more likely to text and drive, with 52 percent of 18-year-olds saying they had done so, compared to 26 percent of 15-year-olds.

Teens who admitted to texting while driving were also more prone to engaging in other high-risk behaviors, including drinking alcohol, indoor tanning and unprotected sex.

The study did note, however, that prohibitive legislation is effective in minimizing at least one form of risky teen behavior. In states where texting while driving is illegal, just 39.3 percent of teens admitting to distracted driving, as compared to 43.5 percent in states without such legislation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Texting Pedestrians Risk Injuries

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pedestrians who text are four times less likely to look before crossing the street, cross at designated areas or obey traffic lights, according to a new study that highlights the hazards of mobile technology.

In monitoring 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections, researchers from the University of Washington found that texting pedestrians also took an average of two seconds longer to cross the road.

“Mobile devices have added to efficiency, but also follow us home and intrude into areas where concentration is required, like crossing a busy intersection,” said Dr. Beth Ebel, director of the University of Washington’s Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center in Seattle and lead author of the study published Wednesday in the journal Injury Prevention.

Previous studies have found that pedestrians are less cautious and more likely to engage in “risky crossing behavior” when wearing headphones or talking on cellphones.  And a 2010 study found pedestrians using cellphones took longer to cross the street.

With smartphone use on the rise, Ebel called for new policies to limit the risk of pedestrian injuries.

“Ultimately a shift in normative attitudes about pedestrian behavior, similar to efforts around drunk-driving, will be important to limit the risk of mobile device use,” she said.  “I also hope parents will consider specifically discussing our findings with their kids, and will also consider the impact of their role-modeling on what children perceive as competent adult behavior.  As parents, what we say matters much less than what we do.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texting Study Shows Women Wear Their Emoticons on Their Sleeves

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(HOUSTON, Texas) -- The folks over at Rice University, having apparently figured out everything else there is to know about everything, have turned their attention to those sometime grating graphic symbols called emoticons that have become an integral part of text messages.

In their must-read study, “A Longitudinal Study of Emoticon Use in Text Messaging from Smartphones,” Rice researchers have concluded that women are twice as likely than men to use the little facial expressions in texts.

The study was a thorough examination of 124,000 texts sent over six months by men and women. Just to make sure the research wasn’t skewed, the participants received free phones but weren't told what the study was about.

What the researchers learned from the cellphone data culled over half-a-year was that all the participants at some point used emoticons in their text messages but that the expressions popped up in just four percent of all the texts sent.

And while as many as 74 emoticons were used over the course of the experiment, the symbols indicating happy, sad and very happy comprised 70 percent of all the emoticons sent.

Besides women using emoticons by a two-to-one margin over men, they were found to be more emotionally expressive in non-verbal communications. However, men use a greater variety of emoticons than women -- whatever that means.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mom and Dad Are Sexting: 18 Percent of Adults Send Lewd Messages

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- And you thought it was just the younger generation and Anthony Weiner sending explicit text messages -- or sexts. According to a survey conducted by Lookout, a mobile safety company, 18 percent of American smartphone owners say they sext.

But even more revealing are the age breakdowns. The data show that one in five moms and dads of children under 18 use their smartphones to text. Additionally, 25 percent of women between the ages of 35 and 44 send sex text messages from their phones.

And there’s also data on what sort of content are in these messages. Eleven percent of Americans admitted that they have recorded explicated videos on their phones; five percent of moms have done so and 18 percent of dads have.

But the most surprising part? Not many of them are worried about the photos or videos being exposed. Only three percent of American adults said their biggest concern about losing the phone would be that the inappropriate pictures or text messages would be revealed to a stranger.

“The survey results were especially interesting because we found that even though people are sharing extremely private content on their smartphones, many do nothing to prevent an embarrassing exposure,” Alicia diVittorio, mobile safety advocate at Lookout, told ABC News.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, surveyed 2,097 adults over the age of 18 in the United States. The survey was conducted online and variables of age, sex, race, education, region, etc. were weighed to reflect population breakdowns.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Technology Makes Dating Tougher for Men, Survey Finds

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Dating used to be so simple for men.  All they had to do was figure out something to say and get the courage to call their intended date on the phone.

But that's not the case anymore.  TSB magazine says what ties guys up in knots these days is what to say in a text when seeking a date.  In fact, a third of the men in the TSB survey admitted that coming up with the right text message frustrated them the most in trying to ask a woman out.

Next on the list of what gives men sweaty palms in today’s dating scene is carrying on an interesting conversation with a pretty girl they recently met.  Twenty-two percent said this was their biggest concern, while 12 percent in the TSB poll had qualms about simply approaching a woman they’ve had their eye on.

Then there’s that moment about whether or not it’s appropriate to end a first date with a kiss.  Eighteen percent say that's their biggest dating fear.

Other anxieties included 10 percent with the fear of women seeing them more as a friend than a love interest, and 6 percent worried about "hitting it off with a woman only to have her shift her interest to someone else."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Majority of Teens Use Texting to Ask Out Their Prom Date

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Today’s teens send an average of 60 text messages a day, according to a recent Pew Research study, and that preferred method of communication is evident in the results of a new survey on proms.

A survey of 1,243 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 by the company TextPlus finds 58 percent of respondents would ask out their date via text message.

In addition, 67 percent of teens would accept a prom date request via text message.

Fifty percent of teens will use group texting, as opposed to speaking to a friend in person, to make prom plans.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents will text photos as part of a discussion on what outfit to wear.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Electronic Devices a Leading Distraction for Teen Drivers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- When it comes to teenagers behind the wheel, the use of electronic devices — to text or to talk on a hands-free phone — is the No. 1 distracted-driving behavior, according to the findings of a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

In the final phase of a three-part study that used data recorders in the cars of 50 North Carolina families with a novice teenage driver, researchers examined six months of video clips for each family.

A total of 52 drivers were recorded — 38 of whom had just received their licenses, and 14 teen siblings. In nearly 8,000 clips, electronic devices were used nearly 7 percent of the time, accounting for more than any other distracted-driving behavior,  such as adjusting controls, eating and drinking or turning around.

And girls were the worst offenders. In video clips, they used electronic devices 7.9 percent of the time, while boys clocked in at 4 percent. The time of day or day of week did not affect distracted-driving behavior.

The study also found that teenage drivers were three times more likely to take their eyes off the road when using these devices.

Carol Ronis, the foundation’s senior communications manager, said the study was important because car crashes remained the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Teen car crashes are roughly four times higher than they are for adults.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Teens Prefer Texting to Calling, Study Shows

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The days of teens tying up the phone for hours are long gone. A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that they're texting more, and talking on the phone less.

“The average teen now texts 60 texts a day, as opposed to 50 just two years ago,” said Pew senior research specialist Amanda Lenhart. “Texting is also really superseding and perhaps replacing other kinds of communication.”

Lenhart says texting has become the communication of choice among teens. Sure, they will speak to each other on their smartphones: “Just about a quarter of all teens have a smartphone,” she said. But given a choice, they prefer to text it than say it.

“We actually saw declines over the past two years in voice calling, both on a cellphone and on a landline phone,” Lenhart said. “Teens are just doing less of that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Girlfriend’s Final Texts a Warning on Distracted Driving

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(QUEBEC, Canada) -- A young Canadian man is hoping the heart-wrenching final text message conversation he had with his girlfriend before she died can serve as a reminder of the dangers of distracted driving.

Mathieu Fortin has posted the final text messages he and his girlfriend, Emy Brochu, 20, sent each other while she was driving, right before the car she was in crashed Jan. 18, killing her. On a memorial Facebook page he titled “Share this if it touches you! I love you Emy xoxo,” Fortin posted the texts, along with pleas that his friends think twice before using a cellphone while behind the wheel.

The pair were texting each other while she drove to class, he wrote on the Facebook page. Her final message to him read, translated from French, “I love you too and I’ll try to make you happy.”

“I have a meeting at 12:30,” he responded, “I would have liked to hear your beautiful voice before but…we’ll talk tonight before 6:00…good day at school bb and I kiss you all over :).”

A little while later, when she still hadn’t responded, he texted again, asking if everything was okay, writing “Is all well my heart?” and “I’m a little worried here.”

The police investigation showed that cellphone use was a factor in the crash, Fortin writes, adding that the irony of the final texts still breaks his heart.

“How can a text message or email be more urgent than life?” Fortin of Victoriaville, Quebec, writes, according to a translation from French. “At what point does using your phone become more important than the people you love?”

Cellphone use -- either texting or talking on the phone -- is involved in 24 percent of all vehicle crashes, according to the National Safety Council.

“It’s important to remember that most cellphone communications require two parties,” David Teater with the National Safety Council told ABC News. “It takes two to text, so you have a responsibility not to participate in such risky behavior. It’s almost like letting a friend leave a bar drunk and get behind the wheel.”

“If something were to happen, if someone were to get killed, can you imagine going through life knowing you were on the phone with them when that happened?” Teater said.

On the Facebook page, Fortin writes that he feels guilty about Brochu’s death, and that he hopes people remember her when they think about picking up the phone while driving.

“It could be a child crossing the street while you’re staring at your phone,” Fortin writes, “THINK ABOUT IT!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texting for a Healthy Baby: Women Receive Free Health Texts

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The free health messaging service text4baby celebrates its two-year anniversary this month and is on the cusp of reaching a new milestone: 300,000 subscribers.

To date, more than 293,000 pregnant women and new mothers are receiving free, personalized text messages with information on their pregnancy or their infant’s health. The service is adding new subscribers at a rate of between 500 to 600 a day, marketing manager Emilia Guasconi said.

While anyone can sign up for the messages, Guasconi said that texts are an especially effective way to reach low-income groups.

“The underserved population is the highest utilizer of text messages, so it’s really a great and efficient way to reach that audience,” she said.

The service is made possible by a network of wireless carriers and other businesses, nonprofit groups and government organizations.

Here’s how it works: You can register for the service online here, or sign up with your mobile phone by texting the word BABY (or BEBE for Spanish texts) to the number 511411. You’ll be asked for your baby’s due date or birthday. After registering, you’ll begin receiving free messages with tips for pregnancy or caring for your newborn timed to your particular stage of pregnancy or your baby’s age.

A study of more than 100 text4baby subscribers released by UC San Diego last year found that three out of four said the service notified them of medical warning signs that they weren’t aware of and that 64 percent said text4baby helped them remember an appointment or immunization.

The service has set a goal to reach 1 million subscribers by the end of 2012.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio