Monday, 20 August 2018 10:30

Aussies show a preference for texting over phone calls: survey

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Aussies show a preference for texting over phone calls: survey Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Text messaging, rather than talking over the phone, is now preferred by many Australians, according to a new survey which found that 56% of Aussie adults avoid making phone calls, turning instead to messaging apps or even email.

According to the survey of 2011 Aussies by comparison website finder.com.au, the 56% of respondents — equivalent to 10.7 million Australians — avoid phone calls and prefer to text to keep in touch.

Almost two thirds (62%) of Generation Y use text messages or messaging apps to chat to friends and family; one in three (33%) prefer SMS while nearly as many (29%) prefer to send a message via an app, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger).

And, of respondents to the survey, only (27%) of Gen Ys prefer to speak on the phone, while one in ten (10%) favour email over any other method of communication.

Angus Kidman, tech editor at finder.com.au, says Baby Boomers are keeping calls alive as younger Aussies rarely pick up the phone.

“There used to be an urgency in picking up a ringing phone, almost like a reflex. Now it’s quite common to see young Aussies screen calls and respond via text, rather than calling back to have a conversation.”

“If your phone rings, chances are it's a relative or a salesperson.”

Kidman urges Gen Ys to take important conversations offline.

“Some messages just shouldn’t be delivered over text — getting dumped over WhatsApp isn’t fun for anyone.

“Calls are free on most mobile plans, so there’s no excuse for not picking up the phone for tough conversations.”

And here’s four conversations Kidman says you shouldn’t have over message:

1. Continue a fight

It can be so easy to misinterpret messages that it’s better to pick up the phone, or meet in person. That way you can hear the other person’s tone and see their expression.

2. Breaking up with someone

You should never break up with a partner over text. Depending on the length of the relationship, you could get away with a phone call.

3. Important work conversations

Whether it’s an issue with serious consequences, a mistake or crucial decision, pick up the phone or organise a meeting. Not only will you save yourself time, you’ll usually get to the bottom of it much quicker.  

4. Delivering bad news

This should go without saying, but any news that is going to worry or upset someone shouldn’t be done over text.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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