The number of mobile phone calls made in the UK has dropped for the first time ever.
According to a report from telecoms regulator, Ofcom, mobile phone calls dropped by 1.7% in 2017, compared to the previous year. This is despite three quarters of adults agreeing that the ability to make voice calls is an important function of a smartphone.
The rise of instant messaging services, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, is cited as a possible reason for the decline.
Other figures collected from the study show that the average UK adult will check their phone every 12 minutes when they are awake. Furthermore, 78% of them believe they can’t live without it.
Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s director of market intelligence, told the BBC: “Over the last decade, people’s lives have been transformed by the rise of the smartphone, together with better access to the internet and new services.
“But while people appreciate their smartphone as their constant companion, some are finding themselves feeling overloaded when online, or frustrated when they’re not.”
18-24 year olds are apparently spending three hours 14 minutes on their phones every day. The latest Android update contains a dashboard which will show users how long they are spending on their phones, and which apps they use the most. The next iOS update is going to have a similar feature.
Facebook and Instagram are also monitoring users’ screen time in an attempt to help limit passive and mindless scrolling.
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