Texting preferred over talking in the UK says Ofcom

In study carried out by Ofcom in the UK, it is now confirmed that texting each other is the preferred method over talking on the phone or in person.

The study said that 58% of people communicated via texts on a daily basis in 2011, while only 47% made a daily mobile call. The trend appears to be led by the 16-24 age group, which was revealed in its annual communications market report.

Some other interesting facts were put together by the BBC, which include that the UK consumer now sends 50 texts per week while fewer calls are being made on both fixed and mobile phones.

In another first, there was a drop in the volume of mobile calls - by just over 1% - in 2011, while landline calls were down by 10%; overall time spent chatting on the phone also fell by 5% in 2011. James Thickett, Ofcom's director of research, said: "Talking face to face or on the phone are no longer the most common ways for us to interact with each other."

The data seems to suggest a shift in the method of communication due to smartphones now being made widely available:

  • 39% of adults now own a smartphone, a 12% increase on 2010.
  • 42% of these now say their smartphone is the most important device for accessing the internet, with 42% regularly using social networking sites and 51% using e-mail.
  • The average consumer spends 90 minutes a week accessing social networking sites and email.
  • Tablet ownership is also on the rise, with 11% owning such a device, up from 2% last year.

The study also showed that E-readers are becoming more popular. 10% of people in the UK now own them, with 41% saying that they were reading more as a result.

Source: BBC via Ofcom
Woman texting on her phone image via Shuttestock

Thanks to Mephistopheles for the tip in our forums.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Images leaked of portable Microsoft keyboard designed for Windows 8

Next Story

Washington state to allow voter registration on Facebook

21 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Singh400 said,
No **** Sherlock. Everyone prefers texting...

Only pickles with no life or real communication skills prefer to text!!

I figured I'd see some REALLY ignorant reasons for texting in this story!! Sheesh!!

With what "what" said above just about proves the lack of communication skills now a days and the fact that I bet that person still texts and drives!!

I only talk on the phone for usually 1min tops... "Hey I'm heading over..." "Hey, trying to hang? OK see you in a bit." "Whats going on tonight? Well hit me up if you find something." Stuff like that... Everything else is text.

Saw the story this morning on Sky News. It also said on there that the average Briton sends 200 texts a month. I am way below average then (I send about 10 a month).

Phone calls on the go are just really inconvenient for a lot of people. If you're at home, chances are you're free to talk, so a landline isn't a problem. But if you're out and about in a noisy area, at work, in a waiting room at the doctors, or generally anywhere where you can't hear your phone/feel it vibrating in your pocket, taking a phone call is impossible. It's much easier (and more polite) to check and reply to a text message when it suits you.

The only reason I text is because woman like to text. Some think it's a way to carry on a conversation, so if there is more than 2 text's involved I stop texting and call.

If it can't be said in one simple text than call you it is quicker and easier

JimmyJamesRoS said,
The only reason I text is because woman like to text. Some think it's a way to carry on a conversation, so if there is more than 2 text's involved I stop texting and call.

If it can't be said in one simple text than call you it is quicker and easier

Teenagers of both genders prefer to text; it is cheaper and they also like it more. maybe a side effect of the FB plague.

Dutch carrier Hi (sister organization of KPN targeted at younger people) actually advertises their messaging services with "Who still calls these days?"

I guess I'm old fashioned. I much prefer talking especially to clients. When you text, there is too much that can go wrong.

Obviously you're not going to have business conversations through text messaging. That's not what this is about.

.Neo said,
Obviously you're not going to have business conversations through text messaging. That's not what this is about.

Then minus the clients part... I still feel like the conversations I have with people are much more dynamic than "hey let's go eat", "okay where", "joe jim's down the road".

As a nerd, I've always preferred the written word to speaking to people Which isn't to say that I'm antisocial or not good at talking to people, I just feel like I am more articulate in writing, be that in email, online forums, or a text message.
Plus, talking on the phone is just... I don't know, boring to me. "Hey, what's up?" "Not much..." "....so yeah..." I don't know, I've never cared for it. Phone calls to me are better shorted for quick transfers of information--giving directions, quickly explaining something, etc. For a full conversation, texting is just more convenient.

Charisma said,
As a nerd, I've always preferred the written word to speaking to people Which isn't to say that I'm antisocial or not good at talking to people, I just feel like I am more articulate in writing, be that in email, online forums, or a text message.
Plus, talking on the phone is just... I don't know, boring to me. "Hey, what's up?" "Not much..." "....so yeah..." I don't know, I've never cared for it. Phone calls to me are better shorted for quick transfers of information--giving directions, quickly explaining something, etc. For a full conversation, texting is just more convenient.

And texting that same type of "boring" stuff is easier, or cooler! That is just plain dumb!!

More articulate! You must be stoned most of the time!!

migo said,
No ****, making calls to someone else's cell phone is expensive as **** in the UK.

10p per min off giffgaff, cheapest in the UK