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More people 'choosing to communicate online'Posted on: May 30, 2013 12:43:25
The emergence of online dating as a popular method of hooking up with like-minded people has revolutionised the way singles get to know each other, with less importance placed on real-life encounters.
But it seems the dominance of the internet in all aspects of life has reflected in the methods individuals choose to communicate, with many feeling more comfortable talking to other people while hiding behind their electronic devices.
According to a new study by mutual healthcare provider benenden health, one fifth of tech-savvy consumers now believe the ability to chat face-to-face with other individuals is not essential for modern day living.
In fact, many people think that small talk is "unimportant" - so much so that one in five have not spoken to a stranger for over six months.
Researchers found that four in ten respondents believe talking about the weather or asking about traffic is pointless and awkward, while one third of people are distinctly uncomfortable having to talk to someone they have not met before.
While internet dating allows shy individuals to get to know someone without the nerves associated with a real-life meeting, it is also important for people to put themselves out there and strike up conversations with sexy strangers in order to find love.
However, the study revealed that small talk could soon become a thing of the past, as one in four people admitted they would only speak to a stranger as a last resort if they needed help - and that comes only after they have searched on their phone or called a friend first.
Commenting on the findings, Paul Keenan - head of communications at benenden health - said the findings show there has been a "spiralling decline in face-to-face communication" in recent years.
He added: "To an extent, the rapid rise and ever-changing concept of online communication is naturally replacing traditional face-to-face contact.
"Whilst this is bringing people closer together online and speeding up communication over long distances, the potential effect this may have on social skills whilst out and about should not be underestimated."
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