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Lost art of conversation: Text and social media takeover

Four out of five Aussies believe we’re losing the art of conversation, as text and social media take over, a new survey has found.

Virgin Mobile found that almost three in five Aussies, 57 per cent, are calling their family and friends less frequently since the rise of social media.

Surveying 1,000 Australians, nearly four out of five (79 per cent) believe social media and technology are translating into ‘losing the art of conversation’. Some 63 per cent say it’s easier to text a friend or a loved one instead of calling for a chat.

And yet despite this, the majority actually wish they received more phone calls from their nearest and dearest – speaking on the phone makes them feel more connected to people than social media interaction.

Mental health organisation, R U OK?, collaborated with Virgin for the survey, and said having regular, meaningful conversations throughout the year is a help to anyone who might be struggling with life.

David Scribner, Head of Virgin Mobile Australia, says, “We’re dedicated to continuing to make mobile better and are proud to be partnering with R U OK? to champion the power and importance of conversation – not just on R U OK? Day, but every day.”

“Nine out of ten Aussies surveyed said they feel genuinely cared about when they get a phone call from a loved one. We have all been guilty of sending a quick text or Facebook message instead of picking up the phone so it’s a timely reminder that a call could really make a difference to that person’s day.”

Other notable findings from the research include:

  • Three quarters (75%) of Australian social media users believe the majority of their friends online still don’t truly know what’s happening in their lives;
  • Women are more likely than men to agree that texting someone is easier than calling them (68% v 58%);
  • Two out of five (45%) Aussies say they don’t call their friends and family as often because they feel like they already know what they are up to through social media;
  • Two out of five Aussies (43%) prefer emailing, texting and using social media to communicate than speaking on the phone;
  • More than a quarter (28%) of Aussies feel the only free time they have to chat with friends during the week is on the daily commute;
  • The average Aussie received only four phone calls on their last birthday, in comparison to 11 social media messages.