Texting Overtakes Voice Calls for British Mobile Users

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More British than ever are letting their fingers do the talking. 

According to an annual communications market report by Ofcom, a UK regulatory agency, residents are now more likely to text someone on their mobile phones than to actually make a phone call. The study concluded that 58% of people texted daily, while only 47% made a phone every day in 2011.

(MORE: Texting 1, 2, 3: Schools Test ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ Programs)

The average Brit sends about 50 texts a week now and spends about 5% less time speaking on the phone then they did before. It was the first time that the volume of mobile calls actually fell in the annual study. Though it only dropped slightly over 1%, landlines felt the hurt the most, dropping by nearly 10%.

In comparison, most Americans still prefer to be contacted through voice. In a study conducted last year by Pew Research Center, 51% of citizens preferred vocal communication, while only 31% of texting Americans preferred to be contacted via text. Though the average American adult sends about 10 texts a day, they still make more phone calls — about 12 a day.

Of course, a lot of reasons could explain the shift in UK users. Thirty-six percent of adults in the UK now own a smartphone, a 12% increase over the previous year. On top of that, 96% of users aged 16-24 preferred using text to communicate with others. As anybody who’s ever hung out with a teenager knows, however, that should come as no surprise.

MORE: Guess What Texting Costs Your Wireless Provider?

Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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