UK is texting instead of talking

by Mike Evans

Landline calls plummet, mobile calls decline for first time ever, text messages soar: This is the message from Ofcom, the UK’s independent communications regulator in a survey published yesterday.

Text-based communications, including emails, are surpassing traditional phone calls or face-to-face meetings as Britons’ preferred contact. The young, up to 24, are leading the charge while older people over 65 are still wedded to more traditional forms communications.

The wide-ranging survey shows that four in ten adults now own a smartphone while tablets are in eleven percent of households compared with only two percent in 2010.

Internet-connected smart tvs are in five percent of households. Over two thirds of the sets are used for the new sport of Turfing—watching tv and web surfing at the same time. 

eReaders are in the ascendency with one in ten adults owning a device. They claim to be reading more but have cut back drastically on their consumption of paper-based material.

The poor old Royal Mail continues its decline as consumers desert expensive letters in favour of free electronic communication. Total mail volumes fell by 25 percent between 2006 and 2011.