America chatting adults

Minorities send more text messages and make more calls on average than their white counterparts.

Parents with children under 18 in the home are also keen users of the cell phone.

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Launched to the public in 1980, the CB simulator capitalized on the explosive (if short-lived) popularity of citizen's band radio culture in American country music and movies [source: PC Magazine].

Users could exchange real-time messages (loaded with lots of CB slang) on 40 different channels, which later evolved into the concept of rooms.

It's like a virtual cocktail party, where strangers gather to flirt, argue about politics and sports, ask for advice, talk about shared hobbies and interests, or simply hang out.

Still, adults do not send nearly the same number of texts per day as teens ages 12-17, who send and receive, on average, 5 times more texts per day than adult texters.

But it's crucial that people take time to nurture their friendships with more than just a simple 'status update.' As Americans work longer hours, we spend more time online tied to our devices, and with the recent economic shifts forcing relocation for some to find new employment, we also tend to be more geographically dispersed.

"These factors can all wreak havoc with our social lives, so, while it's tempting and certainly convenient to manage friendships completely online, it shouldn't be the only way we share our lives with others.

In the late '70s and early '80s, several small bulletin board communities incorporated chat and IM into their networks.

But the Compu Serve CB simulator is widely regarded as the first real-time chat room.