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Good news by phone, bad by text – modern day communication habits

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Brits deliver good news over the phone but are three times more likely to text if it’s bad, new research has shown. A study into the modern day communication habits of 2,000 people highlighted the tendency to hide behind technology if delivering difficult or gloomy news.

In fact, a quarter would prefer to send condolences by text than make a call to someone who has recently lost a loved one.

And nearly half the study confessed they had texted someone when they knew they should have called, but lost their nerve.

Research showed that whilst a large percentage are more likely to send a text when taking a sick day off work or cancelling plans with friends at the last minute, the personal touch still counts with people three times more likely to pick up the phone than tap out a message when passing on something positive.

The study, commissioned by TalkTalk, found seven in ten couldn’t wait to share good news about a job promotion, new baby arrival or marriage proposal over the phone but bad news was a different story.

Many Brits had bottled the call and sent a text to cancel a date, while a cheeky one in six admitted to breaking up with a partner via text message to avoid a difficult conversation.

Tristia Harrison of TalkTalk, said:

“Whether or not you’re sharing good news, nothing can replace hearing a friendly voice at the end of the line.

“We all enjoy a good catch up, be it with loved ones close to home or abroad.

”These calls don’t have to come with a hefty price tag, as we can now get lost in conversation without the worry of racking up a big bill.”

The study also showed a third of people who had text their boss about being ill and unable to come into work said it was guilt that drove their decision not to call – just seven per cent dodged the call because they were too ill to speak.

Celebrations and happy announcements such as birthday wishes and Christmas greetings ranked top in ‘good news’ delivered over the phone.

And the sound of a friendly voice was found to still hold a great deal of comfort with ‘a tough day at work’, ‘being far from home’ or ‘in need of some much needed cheering up’ cited as the most common reasons to get dialling.

And, it would appear that the comfort of our home is where we are most likely to make these calls as the research revealed that a third of us are using our landline rather than a mobile to avoid noise distractions, loss of signal or run-down battery and allow for a lengthy chinwag.