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Teens have many different kinds of friends. There are casual acquaintances, associates, classmates, school friends, friends from camp or church or dance or soccer, all with varying and shifting degrees of closeness.

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In contrast to the analysis in Chapter 1, this portion of the survey involved questions that asked teens to focus on all of the ways in which they spend time and interact with the friend who is closest to them. In order to gain a broad understanding of the places — including online places — teens spend time with their closest friends, the survey presented nine different venues, activities or locations and asked teens to indicate whether they regularly spend time with their closest friend at each of these venues or activities. Overall, school is by far the top location where teens say they spend time with their closest friends.

The percentage of teens who spend time with their closest friend at school is largely consistent across a wide range of demographic groups.

Similarly, black teens are more likely than their white and Hispanic counterparts to hang out in a neighborhood. Teens today have more ways to stay in touch with friends than ever before. Beyond daily interactions at school, teens are increasingly connected by smartphones, social media, gaming, and the internet. This survey asked teens how often they are in touch with their closest friend through face-to-face contact, phone calls, text messages, or any other digital method.

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Girls are especially likely to be in touch with their closest friend on a regular basis. Black teens are less likely than their white and Hispanic peers to communicate daily with their closest friend.

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While there were no major differences by age, the economic and educational status of their parents or where they live, teens who have access to certain technologies are particularly likely to be in more frequent contact with their closest friend. Teens who have mobile internet access — whether through a phone, tablet or other mobile device — are ificantly more likely than those without this kind of access to be in frequent touch with their closest friend.

Focusing in on smartphone users, teens who have access to a smartphone also are likely to be in daily touch with their closest friend. Social media use also is correlated with more frequent friend interactions. Teens who use a large of social media platforms communicate even more frequently. Teens today have a of ways to get in touch with each other, and they use them in various combinations. Some methods, however, are more favored than others. This survey asked teens about their preferred modes of digital communication with their closest friend — the first, second, and third most common way they get in touch online or on their phones.

Text messaging is the dominant form of digital communication among teens. Following general texting patterns, teen girls are ificantly more likely than teen boys to say texting is their first choice for getting in touch with their closest friend.

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Older teens are also particularly likely to use texting as their primary means of getting in touch with a friend. Teens who live in relatively affluent households tend to rely more heavily on texting as a primary means of communication, while teens in lower-income households tend to say social media is how they stay in touch. Black and Hispanic youth are also more likely to say social media is the most common way they get in touch with their closest friend. Teens who access the internet via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets are more likely to say texting is the most common way they get in touch with their closest friend.

In turn, teens who have access to a smartphone are more likely to say texting is the most common way they get in touch with their closest friend.

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Teens without access to a smartphone are more likely to say social media is the most common way they get in touch with their closest friend. Teens without access to a smartphone are also more likely to say phone calls are the most common way they get in touch with their closest friend.

Looking at the overall picture — combining answers to the first, second and third most common ways teens get in touch with their closest friend — texting comes out on top. Write-in answers reveal that some teens use video chatting, like the popular iPhone service FaceTime, to get in touch with one another, as well as.

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Girls are more likely to say they use texting, phone calls and social media as any of their three most common ways to get in touch with their closest friend. Black teens are more likely than their white and Hispanic peers to say phone calls are one of their three preferred methods of getting in touch with close friends.

Teens who have access to smartphones are more likely to note texting, phone calls and social media among the top three ways they prefer to get in touch with their closest friend. In the open-ended response to this question, teens without smartphones notably told us that they used video chat platforms like Skype and FaceTime, as well asas some of their top ways to stay in touch with their best friend.

Teens in our focus groups described the calculus they made in choosing different ways to communicate with friends for different purposes.

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You want to do something? I love you! Teens also tell us that they make different communication choices when talking with close friends and acquaintances — usually choosing phone-based communication for closer relationships.

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For closer friends, I usually text or Snapchat. A high school girl explains why she chooses to make voice calls with her best friend. For many teens, calling is reserved for more serious or intimate conversations.

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Calls are usually for just more important things. But then my other friends, we FaceTime all the time. For some teens, getting access to their phone is something new friends must earn. So … it took like basically a whole year.

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In the beginning of the school year, we continued to talk, and then …we switched Kiks 7 and then phone s. So young. So I just want to make sure that the person was capable of, like, being able to have my phone. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions.

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It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Home U. Main More. Social media and mobile devices help facilitate frequent connections between close friends Teens who have mobile internet access — whether through a phone, tablet or other mobile device — are ificantly more likely than those without this kind of access to be in frequent touch with their closest friend.

2. don’t ask if they are free at a specific time without telling them what your plans are.

Teens from affluent and highly educated households favor texting when communicating with close friends; minority teens and those from low-income, low-education households are more likely than other teens to rely on social media Teens who live in relatively affluent households tend to rely more heavily on texting as a primary means of communication, while teens in lower-income households tend to say social media is how they stay in touch.

Teens with access to personal technology text their closest friend, while those without it use phone calls or social media to stay in touch. Smartphone owners notably differ from those with a basic phone or no phone. Phone-Based Methods Are Overall the Most Popular Ways That Teens Communicate With Closest Friends Looking at the overall picture — combining answers to the first, second and third most common ways teens get in touch with their closest friend — texting comes out on top.

Preferred method of getting in touch varies by demographic group Girls are more likely to say they use texting, phone calls and social media as any of their three most common ways to get in touch with their closest friend. Why teens choose different platforms for talking with friends Teens in our focus groups described the calculus they made in choosing different ways to communicate with friends for different purposes.

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Close friendships provide emotional support, opportunities for practicing social skills and a space to develop various identities. See Berndt, T. Further, parents who live in high-income households are more likely to say their teenager has his or her own cellphone or smartphone.

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