Teens Use IMs To Avoid Awkward Conversations

    November 15, 2007

A new Associated Press-AOL Instant Messaging Trends Survey released today finds that forty-three percent of teen IM users have used instant messaging to say something they would not say to someone in person.

Close to half of teenage girls have used instant messaging to communicate something that they would not say in person, compared with over a third of teenage boys. Fifty-five percent of teens have used instant messaging to get help with their homework, a 17 percent increase over last year. Twenty-two percent of teens have sent an IM to ask for or accept a date.

Teens are 42 percent more likely to upload photos in 2007 while instant messaging compared to 34 percent in 2006. Teens are less likely to do online research for school (57% vs. 63%) or update their blog or social profile (33% vs. 42%) while sending IMs.

David Liu Instant messaging is becoming more common in the workplace with 27 percent of users saying they IM at work. More than half say that instant messaging makes them more productive at work, a 25 percent increase over last year. Nineteen percent say they send more instant messages than emails to their co-workers and colleagues.

"Instant messaging has made its way into so many areas of our lives and we can now take our buddies with us wherever we go. Whether on our mobile phones, our social profiles or on the desktop at work, our friends, family and co-workers are right there letting us know when they’re free for a question or just to chat," said David Liu, Senior Vice President, AOL.

"This survey also found that instant messaging is truly helping people become more productive and better manage their relationships wherever they may be."