You may recall the BT advert from a few years ago that tried to get us all to use our telephones to talk to each other – it was apparently ‘good to talk’. Time moves on and it now seems that it isn’t and we are more likely to text each other than speak!
According to Ofcom while 58% of people communicated via texts on a daily basis in 2011, only 47% made a daily mobile call, the shift away from traditional ways of keeping in touch being led by young people aged 16-24 (no surprise if you have your own teenager).
The report confirms that on average UK consumer now send 50 texts per week while fewer calls are being made on both fixed and mobile phones (certainly our home phone is more of a decoration now).
However for the first time, there was a fall in the volume of mobile calls – by just over 1% – in 2011, while landline calls were down by 10% and overall time spent on the phone fell by 5% in 2011.
This change in behaviour is believed to be down to greater ownership of internet-connected devices – smartphones like the iPhone;
- 39% of adults now own a smart phone, a 12% increase on 2010.
- 42% of these now say their smart phone is the most important device for accessing the internet, with a similar percentage 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.
- According to Ofcom, tablets are most often used in the home as a “snacking version” of the home PC.
So probably no surprises here, but a confirmation that the smart phone is beginning to play a very important part in all our lives – and is perhaps going to kill off the basic telephone before too long. It is also sad that people now prefer not to talk to each other. Is this the start of something more insidious in our behaviour?