PUBLIC OPINION > It Should Only Take a Few Minutes to Text Back
Living 2012/05/01 22:00:00
It's hard to believe how recently texting was introduced into our lives. The formative years were 1989 to 1992, when people were flipping their pagers upside-down to receive vital messsages like "hello" (07734) and "boobies" (5318008). In 2009, a reported 152.7 billion text messages were being sent per month in America, averaging 534 per user. You could say it's gotten popular. We wanted to know how long it takes the public to respond to one of those billions of texts.
Hardly anyone takes an hour to text back on average, but the big pull here was between a speedy response and an apathetic laze. Most respondents said they typically respond within minutes, but there was a large group who are either too busy to ensure a quick reply, or just don't care enough to jump on it immediately. More often than not, it was the former, but there were some who expressed a sort of anti-texting sentiment. One commenter wrote, "I hate the phone with a passion therefore normally it takes me forever to get around to replying to any messages on it."
Females Respond Faster
There are conflicting studies on whether women actually talk more than men. One by Louann Brizendine suggests women speak an average of 2.9 times as many words as men in a day. Another, aided by James Pennebaker, suggests the difference is so small as to be statistically negligible. But our poll does show that women are 18% more likely to respond to your text ASAP. So there's that.
Young Adults Take Their Time
The age breakdown was surprising. We expected response time to drop as voters got older, but instead we found that only two age groups varied. Teens (13-17) and people approximately the age of their parents, maybe a bit older (45-54), were about 25% more likely to respond in a flash. But everyone in the middle (18-44) took their sweet time about it.
Dating Has Minimal Impact
We thought maybe there would be a divide between singles and voters in a relationship -- either they would be texting eachother with more zeal, or taking advantage of the time apart when they had it -- but there was little to be found. Those in a relationship were about 10% more likely to respond in minutes. Maybe that's because there was a mixture of both reactions. Or maybe it just didn't affect much.
If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about texting response times. We'd love to hear from you!
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