Almost half of Birmingham residents prefer 'Cyber friendships'
Average person in the city sends 10,220 texts and 1,040 picture messages a year
Almost half (45%) of people who live in Birmingham prefer to stay in touch with friends digitally rather than face-to-face, according to new research by BT Mobile. A huge 42% admit that they have friends they would not stay in contact with at all if it weren’t for social media. A further 24% believe social media has strengthened their friendships.
With each person in Birmingham sending an average of 10,220 texts each year, along with 1,040 picture messages and 7,665 WhatsApp messages, these cyber friendships are increasingly demanding faster connections and access to data wherever we are. The research found that we’re also increasingly sharing content, with Birmingham residents sharing 13 videos a week with their digi-friends. Facebook tops the list of ways Birmingham residents keep their cyber friendships alive, (78%) followed by email (59%) and then text (55%). BT Mobile operates on the UK’s biggest 4G network and users also have free access to over five million wi-fi hotspots across the country, to make keeping in touch with friends easier.
The move from face-to-face to digi-friends has created a unique etiquette of modern communication. Among the golden rules uncovered by BT Mobile’s research are to never use a professional platform such as LinkedIn to chat someone up, to never text bad news, and if a friend is a good friend, to make sure you wish them happy birthday via text not just on Facebook!
BT Mobile conducted this research with former Oxford University lecturer and Big Brother and Body Talk psychologist Dr Peter Collett, looking at how people are increasingly moving away from the traditional ways of staying in touch, and how the psychology of friendship in the digital age has changed. He said: “By nature, humans are social animals. Given that so much of our enjoyment is linked to other people, it’s hardly surprising that we invest so much time and effort into keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances. New digital communications have made it even easier for us to express our true nature, and the research that BT Mobile has conducted uncovers some really interesting new trends of the cyber friendship.”
Kelly Barlow, director of Voice and Mobile at BT Consumer: “With such a wide variety of ways to stay in touch on offer, it’s no wonder we have seen a rise in digital friendships. We know that staying in touch with digi-friends is made much easier through fast, reliable connections, and BT Mobile’s combination of over five million wi-fi hotspots and access to the biggest 4G network in the UK allows customers to ensure they’re able to keep up cyber friendships wherever they are.”
BT Mobile has three SIM-only deals, offering bundles of data, minutes and texts for as little as £5 a month for existing broadband customers as well as the best value 4G deal in the UK. BT Mobile customers also get unlimited access to free BT Sport via the BT Sport App Lite, even if they don’t have BT Broadband, plus Parental Controls. Anyone in a BT Broadband household can get up to 50% off their BT Mobile tariff, and the account holder can add up to five mobile plans for people living at the same address. There is also the freedom to move between plans easily without taking out a new contract, and BT will notify customers if they would be better off on a different plan, depending on their usage. Customers who want to upgrade their accounts can do so multiple times throughout their contract and are given the benefits of their new package immediately, while users who have found themselves on a higher package than they need can downgrade too*.
Notes to editors
Research carried out across a nationally representative panel of nearly 2,000 adults by Ginger Research, January 2016
The research revealed the ‘etiquette of modern communication’ which has developed with the rise of the cyber friendship including:
- Don’t private message someone you don’t know
- Never hide your view history from your partner
- Don’t over share on Facebook
- Don’t chat someone up via LinkedIn or any professional platform
- Don’t look through your partner’s phone
- Don’t post to social media when emotional
- Don’t “reply all” to a group message by accident
- Never send a text or message in anger
- Never send a text or message when drunk
- Never post to social media when drunk
- Don’t put kisses on texts or emails to clients or work colleagues
- Don’t gossip about people on text or social media
- Always text or message if you’re going to be late
- Always call work rather than text if you are going to be off sick
- If a friend is a good friend, wish them happy birthday by text rather than Facebook message
- Never end a relationship by text or social media
- Don’t ever text bad news
*Customers can downgrade once during their contract period
BT Mobile SIM Only Plans
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