Text messaging explodes as teens embrace it as the centerpiece of their communication strategies with friends. Cell phones are not just about calling or texting – with expanding functionality, phones have become multimedia recording devices and pocket-sized internet-connected computers. Cell phones are seen as a mixed blessing. Parents and teens say phones make their lives safer and more convenient. Yet both also cite new tensions connected to cell phone use. Cell phones help bridge the digital divide by providing internet access to less privileged teens. Text messaging has become the primary way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging and voice calling as the go-to daily communication tool for this age group. However, voice calling is still the preferred mode for reaching parents for most teens.
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