Is texting the new talking: Do people really prefer to text over talk?

Recent studies have highlighted that 75% of the younger generation (aged 18-34) would rather have a text-only phone, compared to a call-only phone. Less than 50 years ago the first hand-held mobile phone was invented and the majority was shocked to find you could walk and call people at the same time. Now, phone calls have decreased by almost 300 minutes per month, while texting doubled. Do people just feel more comfortable opening up about their ideas and experiences using text or is there something more to it?

According to liveperson huge 53% of those surveyed actually stated that texting was their preferred way of communication whilst the rest said that phone calls were intrusive and interfered with their daily tasks and activities. There are a few suggestions as to why younger people may prefer to communicate through messages rather than phone calls. Texting is seen as a less stressful interaction as people have the time to reflect and come up with an appropriate response, rather than feeling put on the spot. Text messages are also stored on the person’s device, meaning if they had to refer back to find an appointment time or piece of advice, they could - rather than having to try to remember the details. So from research and perhaps our own personal experience, it is fairly clear that the majority of young people would prefer communicate and even open up about their personal life, via text or some other form of messenger, but why?

I am not sure we have the answer yet, but there may be a few explanations. Communicating via text is less demanding as you don’t need to process facial expression, tone of voice and many other cues from the other person. You can focus on just getting your thoughts in order. It may also be that because of that distance there is less of a chance to feel like we are being judged for what we are saying. It may be hard for some people to speak up and have their voice heard, this might be easier via text. Also there is no immediate demand for a response so we can take our time to gather our thoughts.

Due to the difficulty that the majority of younger people may face when attempting to discuss something that is bothering them, text based communication is gathering momentum as a way to enable people to seek help with many helplines such as Samaritans offering it as an option. We at Thrive have decided to offer a text-based coaching and counselling service directly within the app. Thrive: Feel Stress Free is a mobile application which helps prevent, screens for and supports self-management of common mental health conditions including stress, anxiety and mild depression. Thrive: Feel Stress Free is now listed in the NHS library and uses a range of real-life therapy techniques including CBT and mindfulness. We are now introducing our own coaching and counselling service with graduate psychologists and other qualified mental health professionals. This is available now to a few of our clients and very soon to all of our users that subscribe directly to our service.

Thrive: Feel Stress Free now offer three tiers in our service. The first tier is self-management, simply using the application and different techniques that come alongside it. The second tier includes coaching from a team of qualified mental health professionals who will communicate with users occasionally to check their progress on set objectives. This will be available from late August 2018 to every user who subscribes directly to our service and to select clients who purchase our app for their members or employees. The coaches will be is available from 8am-8pm. Our coaches are also trained to help people in situations where they may need to seek further support and refer them to the relevant organisation in their area. The final tier includes being referred by the users initial coach to a therapist who will work with them through a therapy programme on an ongoing basis until the treatment is completed.where an online therapy session will be scheduled.

We are are taking our digital mental health services to a whole new level, effectively creating accessible and affordable therapy - all from your smartphone Watch out for more announcements if you are interested or contact us to find out more.

Sam GlassComment