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

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 or the Sky Mobile team directly via: /

About Sky

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