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UK: Text messages overtake mobile phone calls in Britain, says Ofcom study


An Ofcom study has found Britons prefer to text their friends and family.



Texting has overtaken talking in Britain, a new study has found.

Not surprisingly, the shift in the way Britons communicate with their friends and loved ones is being driven by young people aged 16-24, most of whom have never known a world without Internet or the mobile phone.

Ofcom, the country’s communications industry regulator, found 58 percent of people communicated via texts on a daily basis in 2011, the BBC reported.

That jumps to 90 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds.

Yet only 47 percent of people made a daily mobile call.

"Talking face to face or on the phone are no longer the most common ways for us to interact with each other," James Thickett, Ofcom's director of research, said.

According to the Guardian, the amount of mobile phone calls reversed last year – by one percent – for the first time since they became an appendage to the human ear in the late 1990s.

Landline calls dropped 10 percent, the BBC reported.

Texting, on the other hand, is showing no sign of losing its appeal to British mobile users, with people sending an average of 50 messages a week – double the figure from four years ago.

Other mobile devices have become more popular, with just under four in 10 adults owning a smartphone and 11 percent a tablet device, compared with just two percent in 2010, the report said.

"These changes in communication habits reflect the rapid increase in ownership of internet-connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones - making access to web-based communications easier", Ofcom said in the report, according to The Inquirer.

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