Texting Facts: History

The first text message was sent in December 1992 by Neil Papworth, an engineer for the mobile message infrastructure Company Airwide Solutions. The text message said "Merry Christmas."

Text messaging became commercially available for the first time in 1995. At first, business was slow: In 1995, the average cell phone user send only .4 text messages per month.

Texting Facts: Sending and Receiving

The peak period for sending text messages is 10:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

In 2008, Americans sent one trillion text messages. That is twice as many text messages as phone calls.

Seventy percent of American cell phone users send text messages.

Texting is most popular among teens, but other age groups have caught up. Ninety-four percent of teens send text messages. The number drops to 87 percent for young adults, 64 percent for people in their forties and to 46 percent for people in their fifties.

Texting Facts: Teens and Texting

Over half of 12 year olds, 51 percent, have cell phones. For 13 year olds, the number is 53 percent, for 14 year olds it's 72 percent, for 15 year olds it is 79 percent, for 16 year olds it is 85 percent and for 17 year olds it is 84 percent.

Text messages are sent by 76 percent of teens, and 38 percent of teens send them every day. In fact, more teens, (71 percent), text friends every day, than talk face-to-face with them every day (38 percent).

Teens send 440 text messages per week on average. An average of 110 of those are sent during school.

Thirty-five percent of teens admit to having used their phones to cheat on a test.

In schools where cell phones are banned, 63 percent of teens say they use them anyway.

Forty-five percent of teens say their cell phone is the most important thing to their social life.

An astounding 42 percent of teens say they could text message while wearing a blind fold.

Texting Facts: Texting While Driving

While over one in five people text while driving, the number is especially high among the least experienced drivers. A majority, 51 percent, of drivers aged 16 to 19 text while driving. The number is 45 percent for 20 to 24 year olds, 39 percent for 25-34 year olds, 22 percent for 35 to 44 year olds, 13 percent for 45 to 54 year olds, 6 percent for 55 to 64 year olds and only 1 percent for 65 to 74 year olds. Interestingly, the number goes back up to 3 percent for drivers over 75.

Studies indicate drunk drivers are four times more likely to cause an accident, but texting drivers are eight times more likely to cause an accident. Yet, 22 states have not banned texting while driving. In 20 states, texting while driving is banned among all drivers. Eight states ban texting while driving for inexperienced drivers. Texas bans inexperienced drivers and school bus drivers from texting while driving.

Sources: Common Sense Media, Pew Research Center, Harris Interactive, CTIA's Wireless Association, Nielsen Mobile and The University of Utah.