Texting pips talking as most popular form of communication

Jul 19, 2012, 12:21 IST | ANI

The traditional way of keeping in touch via phone calls has seen a paradigm shift, as more and more youngsters opt for texting over calling, a new study has revealed

For the first time in history, the volume of calls from landlines and mobile phones has fallen, in England.

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By contrast, texting is enjoying a never before popularity, with the average Briton now sending 200 a month, compared with just 70 in 2006.

New research by telecoms regulator Ofcom has revealed that the number of fixed-line calls continues to slump, by 10 percent to 116billion minutes in 2011.

But, for the first time after years of sharp rises, the number of mobile phone calls also dropped from 125billion minutes to 124billion minutes. By contrast, in 2011 more than 150billion texts were sent compared with 50billion five years ago.

“The UK is now texting more than it is talking,” the Daily Mail quoted James Thickett, Ofcom’s director of research, as saying.

“Over the past year there have been some major shifts in the way we communicate with each other.

“Text-based communications are surpassing traditional phone calls or meeting face to face as the most frequent way of keeping in touch for UK adults,” he said.

The telecom regulator interviewed more than 2,000 people aged 16 and over earlier this year. It found that while 67 percent say they would prefer to talk to friends and family face to face, the demands of modern life are making it increasingly difficult.

It seems people are often too busy to make a phone call, preferring the speed and ease of a text instead.

The research found that almost 60 percent of people used text messages to communicate with loved ones daily, compared with 49 percent who did so in person.

Thickett added that the use of texting could be seen as ‘positive’ because it meant people were still staying in touch despite their busy lives.

“With more than 30 per cent of the UK now in single-dwelling households, you could very easily see a scenario where people just did not communicate with each other at all,” he said.

In the report, Ofcom said: “Looking at the overall ways in which people communicate with friends and family on a daily basis, 68 per cent use any text-based methods, and 63 per cent use a landline, mobile or web cameras.”

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