Many Americans Still Prefer Face Time over Email, Other Forms of Communication

In spite of smartphones, laptops and other technology, many Americans still prefer an old-fashioned method of communication: face-to-face.

Thats according to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge and sponsored by BT.

About half (49.9 percent) of the approximately 1,000 individuals surveyed in the United States said they prefer to communicate face to face, while 15.1 percent prefer text messaging on a mobile phone.  Another 11.8 percent of individuals surveyed in the U.S. said they prefer to communicate via email.

The University of Cambridge surveyed individuals in Australia, China, the U.S. and United Kingdom.

In the U.K., a whopping 65 percent of individuals surveyed said they preferred communicating face-to-face.

The survey revealed that many people in Australia (40 percent), the U.S. (37 percent) and U.K. (37 percent) feel overwhelmed by technology to the point of needing to escape,” according to a press release. Those same individuals are more likely to feel less satisfied with their lives as a whole, the study found.

In China, only 17 percent of the roughly 1,000 individuals surveyed reported feeling overwhelmed by technology.

Thats consistent with findings that 90 percent of adults and roughly 75 percent of children in China are using instant messaging daily.

The research has shown that communications technology is seen by most as a positive tool but there are examples where people are not managing usage as well as they could be it is not necessarily the amount but the way in which it is used,” said Professor John Clarkson, director of the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge and principal investigator of the study.

As part of the research, 63 families from across the globe maintained a weekly diary of their hourly use of communications technology and many of those individuals decided to change their behavior after filling out the diaries.

BT CEO Gavin Patterson said consumption of technology is like eating food.

To stay healthy, you need to eat a balanced diet. The same is true when it comes to using technology,” he said. You need to find a balance which works for you.”

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