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updated 9/22/2011 4:48:34 PM ET 2011-09-22T20:48:34

One-third of Americans who use text messaging to communicate said they prefer a text to a phone call when someone is trying to reach them, a new study suggests.

The new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that of the 73 percent of American adults that send text messages, a whopping 31 percent prefer to use them to communicate with others compared with talking on the phone (53 percent).

These results come from a nationally representative phone survey of 2,277 adults ages 18 and older, with a total margin of error of 2.3 percent.

Heavy text users are much more likely to prefer texting to talking, the report found. About 55 percent of those who exchange more than 50 messages a day said they would rather receive a text than a voice call.

Not surprisingly, young adults are the most avid texters by a wide margin. Cellphone owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day — meaning more than 3,200 texts per month — and the average cell owner in this age group sends or receives 50 messages per day (or 1,500 messages per month).

However, the survey found that both text messaging and phone calling on cellphones have leveled off for the adult population as a whole. Text messaging users send or receive an average of 41.5 messages on a typical day, with the median user sending or receiving 10 texts daily — both figures are largely unchanged from what Pew reported in 2010.

Similarly, cell owners make or receive an average of 12 calls on their cells per day, which is also unchanged from 2010.

Reach TechNewsDaily senior writer Samantha Murphy at smurphy@techmedianetwork.com. Follow her on Twitter @SamMurphy_TMN.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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