According to a new poll from AOL and the AP, nearly half of teenagers use instant messaging services, compared to only about 20 percent usage by adults. Interestingly, a large chunk of those teens prefer IM for communications with heavy emotional content:
An estimated 43 percent of teens who instant message use the tool for emotionally charged conversations, according to a poll from AOL and the Associated Press that was released Thursday. Those conversations might include making and breaking dates.
The poll—which questioned 410 teens and more than 800 parents—found that 22 percent of teens use IM to ask people out on a date or accept one, and 13 percent of teens use instant chat to break up. Girls are also more likely to use IM to avoid uncomfortable talks. According to the poll, about half of girls and more than a third of boys said they’ve used instant chat to say what they wouldn’t say in person.