Call me… maybe? Brits are more connected than ever, yet turned off by talking

Friday 1 April 2022
  • New research from Sky Mobile reveals 8 in 10 prefer to keep in touch by messaging or video calls instead of traditional phone calls
  • Despite over one in five feeling happier after a call with a loved one, two thirds admit they are more likely to text when they want to chat
  • Looking across the UK, Brummies and Londoners take the crown for being the chattiest Brits
  • When we do talk, it’s on our own terms, with 39% of Brits pre-arranging time to chat with friends

To celebrate the 49th anniversary of the first mobile phone call, new research from Sky Mobile has revealed 8 in 10 Brits now prefer messaging and video calls over ‘old school’ phone calls and yet nearly one in four said it is these calls that make us the happiest (23%).

The study of 2,000 British adults also found 64% of people can’t leave the house without their mobile phone, showing our reliance on these devices to help our everyday lives and to stay connected.

I just called to say…

Despite the nation’s preference for messaging when they want to chat (66%), Brits pick up the phone to catch up with family (45%) and their partner (38%) most.

Almost half (48%) want to increase their calls to loved ones so they can have more meaningful conversations – and will choose to phone someone over sending a text message to have a proper catch up (40%), to share good news (34%) or to get a quick response (34%).

The top reasons people opt for a phone call over sending a text message include:

  • To have a proper catchup (40%)
  • Have good news to share (34%)
  • To get a quick response (34%)
  • Have bad news to share (33%)
  • For a special occasion (29%)
  • To have a difficult conversation (28%)
  • For advice (24%)
  • When they miss someone (23%)
  • To ensure nothing is lost in translation (22%)

Chatty nation

When it comes to chatting on the phone, we are a nation of planners with two in five (39%) scheduling calls with friends. In fact, over half (53%) of 18–34-year-olds pre-arrange calls with friends, compared with only a quarter (27%) of those aged 55+, who love a spontaneous call.

Looking across the UK, Brummies (73%) and (not so anti-social) Londoners (72%) are the chattiest and most likely to pick up the phone for a catch up.

And whilst we may be more connected than ever, our calls last on average two minutes less than they did five years ago (21 minutes vs. 19 minutes) showing our preference for messaging via text or apps.

The pandemic saw a new appreciation for phone calls

During the pandemic, a quarter (28%) made more of an effort to call friends and family. One in four (27%) said by doing so, it helped with their own feelings of loneliness.

Reassuringly, one in five (22%) have maintained this level of connection showcasing how the last two years has helped shape how we now stay in touch with friends and family.

Don’t leave a message after the tone

When it comes to voicemails, don’t expect an urgent reply with a fifth (22%) of Brits finding them annoying and one in five (20%) inconvenient. A further 14% admit to leaving their voicemails for days before listening, whilst almost one in ten (8%) admit to deleting voicemails without even listening.

Sending a voice note is marginally preferable with 1 in 5 (19%) 18–34-year-olds liking them to leaving a voicemail (10% overall), however, people prefer the speed and simplicity of receiving a text.

With the 3rd April being the 49th anniversary of the world’s first mobile phone call, Sky Mobile is calling on the nation to reconnect and pick up the phone as it was first intended.

“We’re encouraging our Sky Mobile customers to connect with a friend or family member this weekend for a proper catch-up, as even the quickest of calls can help put a smile on someone’s face”, said Paul Sweeney, Managing Director of Sky Mobile.

With unlimited calls and texts as standard, plus 99% network coverage, there’s no excuse not to pick up the phone with Sky Mobile. Plus, unlike other network providers, Sky Mobile rolls your spare data for up to three years so you can use it whenever you like or share with your family.

For more details on Sky Mobile visit sky.com/mobile.

Research conducted by Opinium 15-18 March 2022 with 2002 UK adults.

Sky Mobile network benefits at a glance:

  • Roll – Sky Mobile rolls your spare data
  • Piggybank – Share spare data in your Sky Piggybank with up to seven SIMs on your account or exchange it for rewards
  • Watch – Stream hours and hours of live sports, the best shows, and kids’ favourites without using your data
  • Mix – Change data plans whenever suits your needs
  • Swap – Upgrade to a shiny new phone anytime you like and save money when you swap your old one
  • Text to Switch – Simply text PAC to 65075 to get your switching code. We’ll take care of the rest

For further information, please contact the Red Sky Mobile team via skymobileteam@redconsultancy.com or the Sky Mobile team directly via: gemma.ratton@sky.uk / jillian.reilly@sky.uk

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. Across six countries, Sky connects 23 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Following the launch of Sky Glass, we now offer customers our strongest ever line-up of products and services. As well as the new streaming TV with Sky inside and everything integrated, customers can enjoy the award-winning Sky Q with all your favourite channels and apps in one place, and with Sky Go you can now access an even better experience on your devices. Sky TV has new channels, new shows and new deals with Peacock, Paramount+ and more. Sky Mobile was voted Best Pay Monthly and Best Value Pay Monthly network by Uswitch, and with Sky Broadband we’re offering our fastest speeds yet.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Sky Cinema is the home of Sky Original films with brand new films launching every month alongside an unrivalled range of the latest cinema releases and on demand library.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity, and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation. We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over the next three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.

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