New research from Amaysim has shown that the communications preferences of young Australians are changing, with Facebook Messenger now more popular with 18-24 year olds than SMS messages!
On top of this comes the startling stat that "nearly one in three young Aussies yearn for a simpler time when they had to think less about how to contact someone".
It has all come about due to the ‘recent explosion of free instant messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp,’ which we are told /has left young Aussies feeling overwhelmed and under fire from a new form of mobile messaging fatigue.’
The fourth-placed, top-tier pre-paid telco states that "with no clear-cut rulebook or etiquette guide on whether it’s ok to WhatsApp your boss or send your parents a cheeky Snapchat, it’s the monkey on the back of modern day communications that’s seeing 39% of young Australians yearning for a simpler time when they had to think less about the best way to contact someone".
The stats show that Aussies aged 18-24 are now using Facebook Messenger (88%) more than they are SMS (87%), while Snapchat (50%) and WhatsApp (27%) are hot on the heels of more traditional SMS messaging.
As Amaysim advises, it’s a far cry from the days of a simple phone call, with 70% of 18-24-year-old Aussies reporting that they never bother using a home phone.
It has led to a state where people are asking themselves "Do I call, text, WhatsApp or Facebook message?"
Of course, these aren’t the only choices, either. In Asia, even more choices abound, from QQChat and WeChat, while traditional choices also include iMessages, Google Hangouts, Skype and many more.
With all these choices, it should be no surprise that "mobile messaging fatigue is being driven by the fact that a whopping 73% of 18-24-year-olds reserve specific communication methods for particular people in their lives, rather than sticking to the same one or two methods for everyone."
What do parents say?
A total of 56% said they prefer calling via mobile phone, while for friends, social media (51%) and SMS (31%) dominate. As for casual acquaintances, 45% prefer to communicate via Facebook Messenger.
The downside of these high-tech tools is the additional angst they bring.
Never mind the existing worry over whether a friend or romantic interest has called or texted, says Amaysim, 44% of young adults agreed that modern messaging options have added a new layer of stress to social situations due to the ability to see when messages are read (or haven’t been), when people are online (and possibly ignoring you), and when someone is (or isn’t) composing a reply.
Could anything be worse than an angsty 18-24-year-old being wilfully ignored, or when someone takes so long to compose a reply you can’t be sure whether they’re really there or not?
As angsty as the young can be, this is in stark contrast to most Aussies aged 55 and over (82%), who "hardly ever or never stress about the communication methods they’re using".
So much for being young and carefree, plagued instead by angst in your pants (for those who keep their phones in their pants pockets).
So, what does Amaysim have to say about it?
More below, including the videos, please read on!
Well, the company’s head of communications, Ged Mansour, noted that the research reinforces the complex collection of choices being faced by young Aussies when it comes to communicating.
Mansour said: “In an age when we’re more connected than ever, something as seemingly straightforward as communication should be getting simpler, not more complicated and head-spinning.
“With SMS, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp — and the list goes on — there’s no denying we’re spoilt for choice. With so much modern communication at our fingertips, it really is no wonder that young Aussies get sweaty palms at the thought of having to decide how to communicate.”
To coincide with the release of the survey, Amaysim has worked with prominent Aussie comedians Josh Hawkins and Paige Gardiner to create a humorous new web video series, which looks at simple solutions to some of life’s complexities.
The first video, "How to contact people", offers some tongue-in-cheek advice on which communication methods to use for particular people in your life.
More details of the survey findings are below this embedded video, which takes you through all six videos (separate playlist here):
- Women are more likely (64%) to reserve specific communication methods for particular people than men (46%)
- Facebook Messenger is the most popular instant messaging service across all age groups by far, with more than half of all Australians (55%) using it;
- While half of all 18-24 year olds use Snapchat, usage plummets to 19% in the 25-34 age bracket, and then down to single digits in the older generations;
- Those in the 45-54 age bracket make mobile phone calls the most (92%), followed by 18-24 year olds (90%);
- A total of 80% of Australians use SMS;
- Nearly 81% of 55+ year olds use a home phone, while only 30% of 18-24 year olds do;
- And 95% of Australians don’t use public payphones.