Brits now text more than they talk, says Ofcom report

Ofcom, the UK's independent regulator for the communications industry, says mobile phone calls are on the decline, with text messaging and social networking taking preference.

The average Briton sends 50 text messages a week, with 16 to 24-year-oldsĀ preferringĀ to text or communicate with friends and family using the service or a social network than speaking to them over the phone or meeting face-to-face, it says.

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2012 found that 96 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds use some form of text-based service a day, with 90 per cent of those using SMS, 73 per cent social network sites.

In comparison, only 67 per cent make mobile phone calls each day, while only 63 per cent talk face to face.

While it may seem obvious that younger adults are embracing new forms of communication, the trend continues when looking across all respondents. When all UK adults are taken into account, 80 per cent use mobile messaging on a daily basis - the same as in 2011. However, those using social networking on their handsets has risen by 5 per cent year on year, to 52 per cent. Emailing through mobile devices has risen to to 71 per cent, mobile instant messaging to 17 per cent, and video calling, through services such as Skype and Apple's FaceTime, to 22 per cent.

Another major statistic that has been revealed in the Ofcom report is that, for the first time, the amount of minutes Brits used making mobile phone calls in the last year has overtaken fixed line (home telephone) calls.

Fixed voice calls accounted for 116 billion minutes, while 123 billion minutes were used on mobile phones (102 billion on contract, 21 billion on pre-pay).

Smartphone ownership has dramatically risen in the past year, with four in ten now owning a smart device (39 per cent). That's a rise of 12 per cent in comparison to the previous report. 42 per cent of UK residents also admit that their smartphone is the most important device for accessing the internet.

What do you think? Do you text more than you talk to your friends and family? Let us know in the comments below...