Did U Get My Txt Msg?: Graduate Students’ Text Messaging Uses and Gratifications

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2012


The digital communication revolution has conquered the college campus. Digitally enabled interaction allows users to share experiences regardless of physical distance through mediated relationships across various communication platforms and channels. Although cell phones have become a necessity for many people, research on text messaging use and gratifications is still emerging. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the frequency of text message use among graduate students and the gratifications achieved through communications transmitted via text messaging. Thirty-four graduate students at a Midwestern university participated in the study by recording the purpose of each text message they sent over the course of one week. Analysis of 3,082 text messages indicated that there were no significant differences between males and females in text message frequency or the gratifications obtained. However, half of the participants reported sending communications fitting more than one gratification for digital media use: the gratifications of socializing, coordination of schedules, information exchange, professional communications, and escape.