US teens prefer remote chats to face-to-face meeting: study

Some 89 percent of those teens surveyed now have their own smartphone

American teenagers are starting to prefer communicating via text instead of meeting face-to-face, according to a study published Monday by the independent organization Common Sense Media. Some 35 percent of kids aged 13 to 17 years old said they would rather send a text than meet up with people, which received 32 percent. The last time the media and technology-focused nonprofit conducted such a survey in 2012, meeting face-to-face hit 49 percent, far ahead of texting's 33 percent. More than two-thirds of American teens choose remote communication -- including texting, social media, video conversation and phone conversation -- when they can, according to the study. In 2012 less than half of them marked a similar preference. Notably, in the six-year span between the two studies the proportion of 13 to 17-year-olds with their own smartphone increased from 41 to 89 percent. As for social networks, 81 percent of respondents said online exchange is part of their lives, with 32 percent calling it "extremely" or "very" important. The most-used platform for this age group is Snapchat (63 percent), followed by Instagram (61 percent) and Facebook (43 percent). Some 54 percent of the teens who use social networks said it steals attention away from those in their physical presence. Two-fifths of them said time spent on social media prevents them from spending more time with friends in person. The study was conducted online with a sample of 1,141 young people ages 13 to 17, from March 22 to April 10. Some 89 percent of those teens surveyed now have their own smartphone