Is the digital age making us less sociable?

ByStaff Writer
Family on phones

In the UK, 98% of us own a mobile phone – yet only 13% use it to make phone calls as the preferred method of communication. In a recent survey we asked over 2,000 people how they like to communicate with people in their personal life and found that less than half would choose to meet face to face. This may or may not come as a shock, but a staggering 70% of 18-34 year olds said they would prefer to communicate digitally than in person with friends and family.

Regionally, around two thirds of Londoners and the east of the country prefer to call, text or e-mail. Northern Ireland seems to be the most sociable bunch, with 59% preferring to meet face to face. Social class appeared to have little impact on preference - across all classes more than half said they would rather communicate digitally or by phone call.

Below you can see what people use their mobile phones for the most in the UK. Phone calls only make up 26% of usage overall, whilst the majority is comprised of texts, e-mails, social media and instant messaging apps. 70% of women said they use their phones primarily for digital communication and only 26% for phone calls - considerably more than just over half of men. 


Looking at the data in more detail we found that 71% of 18-24 year olds use their phones mostly for texting, instant messenger and social media. Unsurprisingly this figure decreases with age, as just under half of over 65's consider these to be the main use for their mobile.

At a regional level, only 17% of people in the North East say they mostly use their phone to make calls and are also the biggest social media users in the country.

With this in mind - is access to social media and digital platforms making us see each other less and even pick up the phone? With constantly updated newsfeeds at our fingertips, is it too easy to think we know what everyone's up to already and the like button will let them know we're thinking about them? Finally, we asked people how many friends and family members they call in a week and over half of us call fewer than two.


For further information please contact:

Harriet Orme, Content Marketing Exec: 020 7400 7403

 Or visit our social media pages:

 Twitter              LinkedIn                       Facebook                     G+                    YouTube


About broadbandchoices:

broadbandchoices is a free, impartial and award-winning price comparison site with over 50 staff based in central London.

We are the UK's number one Ofcom-accredited comparison company for communications and entertainment - broadband, mobile phone, TV and home phone.

Our broadband comparison service has the much sought after Ofcom accreditation, and our spokespeople are widely quoted by national press and broadcast media.

Our site attracts over 1 million visitors a month, and every month we help thousands of people find better deals on broadband, mobile phone, TV and home phone.

Our white label program provides the cutting-edge technology behind some of the biggest names in the comparison market, including and

Compare broadband in your area

We don't share your postcode. More Info
Why do we need your postcode?

Enter your postcode to find the best broadband deals in your area. We value your privacy, please see our privacy policy

Broadbandchoices is accredited by industry watchdog Ofcom