R. E. Grinter and M. Eldridge. Wan2tlk? : Everyday text messaging. In Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing System (CHI 2003), pages 441–448, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, April 5-10 2003. [pdf]
Texting—using a mobile phone to send text messages—has become a form of mass communication. Building on studies that described how British teenagers have incorporated text messaging into their lives, we examine the purposes and nature of the conversations themselves. We also present findings that suggest that teenagers do not have many simultaneous multiple conversations via text messaging; end most text messaging conversations by switching to another medium; and, that, despite popular beliefs, communicate with surprisingly few friends via their mobile phones. Finally we describe how and what words they shorten in their text messages.
This paper describe an indirect form of observation through logging. The authors used a low-tech solution to record how participants used SMS in their daily activities. The asked them to fill a paper form adding contextual information and the content of the messages.
Analysing these logs they could report some quantitative results on the usage of this form of communication.