Research has found that more and more friends are using social media such as Facebook and other forms of electronic communication to interact rather than traditional methods such as face to face meetings.
A report published in the Daily Mail newspaper found that the average adult sends 140 text messages, has 72 Facebook interactions and sends 40 emails a month to be able to keep in touch with friends.
The report found that two thirds of interactions between friends no happen electronically demonstrating the changing structure of society.
Even chatting on the phone is becoming less popular as people rely on sending text messages, emails and posting on Facebook walls to keep in contact with friends and family.
Now only around half of adults have spoken on the phone to some of our closest friends in the last month with the other half opting for new social media methods to keep up with what is going on.
The report came from the print and post specialist Docmail who also found that of those they interviewed one in four said that they felt they relied on electronic media too heavily to keep in contact with friends.
Dave Broadway from Docmail told the Daily Mail: “It is clear to see that there is a heavy reliance on digital communication and that for the most part this enhances and adds value to our friendships. But the results show that many of us feel we rely on it too much and that it is actually changing the dynamics of our relationships.”
He added: “While we may be in more constant contact and have the ability to share and bring visual elements to our conversations, the time we spend speaking on the phone or even making the effort to see each other face to face is in decline.”
According to the report two thirds of people feel that the time they spend online does not enhance their relationships with others but others see the changes as positive to their friendships and 63 percent said they had friends who they only ever contact through Facebook or via text.
Many of those polled also added that they didn’t think it was possible for anyone to be able to maintain a friendship with soimeone if you didn’t use Facebook.
Dave Broadway concluded: “It seems that there is an increasing trend to avoid talking on the phone and instead text or use social media. It raises the argument of what matters more, the amount of communication or the quality?
“The results show that when it comes to showing real meaning or wishing to display genuine sentiment, electronic or online tools aren’t adequate and that traditional methods like receiving something in the post or face to face contact will always be regarded as more meaningful.”
However, with a new generation of Facebook and Twitter users growing up having never sent a birthday card or a thank you letter perhaps this survey heralds the end of traditional communication.