Texting is now more prevalent than making phone calls for UK citizens, at least according to the latest data from Ofcom.
Indeed, texts are overtaking not just traditional phone calls, but meeting face to face as the most common way of keeping in touch for Brits.
Ofcom uncovered various nuggets of information relating to communication via a study of UK adults, which found the average consumer fires off 50 texts every week. That number has more than doubled over four years, and some 150 billion text messages were sent last year.
Ofcom found that fewer calls are being made on phones, both mobiles and landlines, for the first time ever.
UK citizens spend, again on average, around 90 minutes accessing social networks, checking emails, and mobile surfing, every week.
And unsurprisingly, it’s teenagers and young adults who are at the forefront of these changes, socialising online and via texts even though they claim to prefer talking face to face.
Ofcom found that 96 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds are using some form of text-based application to communicate with their friends at least once per day. 90 per cent use SMS texts and 73 per cent social networking sites.
When it comes to this age group, talking on the phone is less popular, with only 67 per cent making calls, and 63 per cent talking face to face.
Overall, traditional communications have slumped in popularity, with the overall time spent on the phone (both mobile and landline) having dropped by 5 per cent in 2011. The majority of that was slippage from landlines, which fell by 10 per cent, but mobile calls also dropped slightly – by just over 1 per cent, year-on-year – for the first time ever.
As Ofcom notes, the spread of smartphones, tablets, and also game consoles which can now be hooked up to the likes of Facebook, are all making online communication methods more popular.
In fact, according to Ofcom’s data, the average UK household now has three internet connected devices, and 15 per cent have six or more. Four in ten adults now own a smartphone, which is up 12 per cent on 2010.