Teenagers are more reliant on instant messaging that adults, a new survey by AOL and AP has found.

This will come as a shock to no one, as many teenagers are reliant on IM to keep their social life active. The survey was conducted online with a sample of around 1500 instant messaging users in the US, so the figures are slanted toward those who actually use IM, rather than being a sample of the entire nation.

Nearly three-quarters of those teens surveyed send more IMs than emails, while only a quarter of IMing adults do. However, half of all adults surveyed log on to instant messenger every day.

Teenagers use IM for other purposes than just sending messages; 56% share photos, while a third share music and video files.

Adults, however, have the edge with audio and video chat, with nearly one in five adults using audio chats, and 17% using video chats.

Unsurprisingly, since the survey online questioned instant message users, a third of teens said they couldn't live without IM, with more girls (36%) than boys (23%) feeling this way. Young people in the Northeast, for whatever reasons, are more attached to IM than others around the country.

More surprising is that nearly one in five adults said that they couldn't imaging living with IM.

More than half of teen IM users have used IM to get help with their homework, but only 9% have ever spoken to a teacher via IM.

Adult male users are more likely than woment to send IMs to people they've never met before; over half of single adult males do the same, while only a third of married adults do.

Sixteen percent more single adults than married adults log on to IM at least once a day, but a quarter of all adults surveyed use IM at work.