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Telephone Trumps Social Media By Teens

ATLANTA, Aug. 11 (UPI) — Many parents may think teens prefer social media over the telephone, but Georgia researchers say most teens favor the telephone.

Dr. Martha S. Tingen, the Charles W. Linder Endowed Chair in Pediatrics at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, surveyed 188 ninth-11th graders in four rural Georgia counties.

Nearly 54 percent of the teens say they preferred contact via cellphone and/or land line, with a recorded message from a research assistant they know using a voice messaging call system. Nearly 24 percent say they prefer a personal call from the research assistant, 15 percent say they preferred text messaging and nearly 8 percent say they preferred Facebook.

“In our high-tech world, what I am learning is people still like the personal touch,” Tingen says in a statement.

However, Tingen says the phone messages, while delivered en masse, were recorded by young research assistants the study participants work with and like, which probably gave more traditional communication an edge.

Tingen presented the findings at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media in Atlanta.

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