This week the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project released a study that probed cell phones and American Adults. What they found showed that texting has permeated generational boundaries. Sure, adults still don’t text as much as kids do, but the numbers are climbing, nonetheless.
Who's Texting & How Much?
According to the report, 72% of adult cell phone users send and receive text messages now. A year ago, it was 65%. However, 87% of teen cell users text. Yet, it’s not that more teens text than adults, it’s the volume at which they text. Teens text 50 messages a day on average, five times more than adults per day.
Can the Enterprise Keep Up?
While this research is fascinating on many levels, what has our interest piqued is what the enterprise is doing to adapt. Sure, teens are several years away from entering the workforce, but the enterprise has only been tip-toeing their way around mobile management. By the time these texting teens are ready for a job, will the enterprise look any different? From records management to communication to web publishing, is the enterprise prepared to operate from a mobile platform?
Of course, this is assuming that in 5 years, texting will still exist and be as popular as it is now. Which is exactly our point, how does the enterprise plan to keep up with evolving trends and technologies?
Evolving Trends & Emerging Technologies Require Flexibility
The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project’s study also raises questions about how these texting trends are influencing the way companies and organizations reach out to these demographics. If teens are abandoning Facebook and don’t use Twitter, how are companies getting their attention? If more adults start texting, it could mean that it’s in place of something else.
As fun as it is to learn about behavioral trends, it’s even more important to be ready to change course as a result. New media and technology affords users news ways to access information and communicate with others, but it also challenges the rest of us to capitalize on these trends, rather than stand idly by.