sms numbers

There isn’t a full report, but PEW Internet /American Life has a ‘PIP Comment’ out titled The Rise of Cell Phone Text Messaging. It is short and worth a read, but here are some numbers I found to be interesting:

Percentage of cell phone owners that are texters
Gen Y (18-27) – 63
Gen X (28-39) – 31
Young Boomers (40-49) – 18
Older Boomers (50-58) – 13
Over 60 types – 7

Percentage of age group that use cell phones
Gen X – 76
Young Boomers – 68
Gen Y – 68
Older Boomers – 62
Over 60 types – 60

According to the ‘Comment,’ ”[t]he findings come from a nationwide phone survey of 1,460 cell phone users…” Make of that what you will.

These figures above look very high, but perhaps not as much when you really consider what they’re looking at. One thing that they didn’t include is the percentage of the total population (not just cell phone users) that are texters. With some mathematical wizardry I deduced the following:

Percentage of age group that are texters
Gen Y – 43
Gen X – 24
Young Boomers – 12
Older Boomers – 8
Over 60 types – 4

These figures are lower, yes, but they’re not small enough that we should be ignoring them, especially with what we know about how phone trends move East to West. Bigger numbers are coming. Remember of course that statistics are statistics, but I think this is good for looking at general trends. We need to be reaching out to the Gen Yers (18-27), not only because we have a mandate to serve them (and they don’t deserve to be ignored) but also because they are going to be the people voting on our referenda in the not so distant future. What have you done recently to make them feel warm and fuzzy about the library?

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