Verbal chats are under threat with texting, tweets, wall posts and emails replacing the traditional phone call.
Research conducted by Asda, amongst parents of students, revealed that only a third of parents (32%) now has a weekly phone call with their off-spring. This is partly due to kids who no longer ‘phone home’ – a huge 71% of students never call home according to their parents.
Whilst phone calls may be falling out of favour, 91% of parents will text kids whilst they are away with the majority of these (73%) admitting to texting every week. However, parents are divided when it comes to keeping tabs, with mums three times more likely to send a message every day than dads.
Mums are also ahead when it comes to emailing – nearly half (48%) of the mums questioned send emails every week compared to just 36% of dads.
The study also reveals the rise in popularity of video calls which over 40% of parents will use, with almost a fifth of parents (18%) using webcams or headsets on a weekly basis.
Last month, Microsoft announced that its VoIP software package Skype, now has 280 million users worldwide. This growth has accelerated in the last year with a jump of 30 million users since May of this year. This shows that whilst families and friends are keen to talk, the web is making conventional phone calls less attractive. Asda is now offering prepaid Skype cards which allow customers to purchase credit for the service.
Andrew Thompson, technology expert for Asda, said: “It’s no surprise that families are now less reliant on traditional phone calls. What’s interesting is that despite this trend, most families are talking more than ever. You could call this the dawn of the ‘yaptop’ computer.”
He added: “Texting, emails and social media allow us to leave messages all over the place. This can be really useful for parents who are trying to connect with students who, as we know, live in a different time zone.”