16:37 19 July 2012
Recently collected data shows that the volume of landline and mobile calls fell for the first time in history. And it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the number of text messages soared at the same time.
Phone calls have been a key part of British social life for over 50 years, but now it seems like people are starting to outgrow them as the volume of calls made in the UK has fallen. In contrast, texting has become so much more popular, with studies showing that the average Brit now sends 200 texts a month compared to just 70 texts back in 2006.
The data was collected in a research conducted by telecoms regulator Ofcom. The research showed that the number of fixed-line calls, which has been falling in recent years, continues its downward trend. Latest data shows that the number has fallen by 10 per cent in 2011. The total volume is now rated at 116 billion minutes.
However, even as landline calls have been falling in number in recent years, mobile phone calls remained strong – until now. The volume of mobile phone calls dropped for the first time ever, following many steady years of sharp increases. The number fell from 125 billion minutes to 124 billion minutes.
In a reversed trend, the number of text messages continues to soar with more than 150 billion texts sent in 2011. Five years ago, the number was just at 50 billion.
James Thickett, Ofcom’s research director, confirms the findings: “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.”
According to an interview conducted earlier this year, Ofcom also found that 67 per cent of Britons say they still prefer talking to friends and family face to face but that the demands of modern life are making it a challenge.
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