amaysim research reveals changing communication preferences of young Australians
Facebook Messenger overtakes SMS as top communication channel of choice for 18-24 year olds
Nearly one in three young Aussies yearn for a simpler time when they had to think less about how to contact someone
Different strokes for different folks
-Do I call, text, WhatsApp or Facebook message?'
Mobile messaging fatigue is being driven by the fact that a whopping 73 per cent of 18-24 year olds reserve specific communication methods for particular people in their lives, rather than sticking to the same one or two methods for everyone.
For parents, 56 per cent said they prefer calling via mobile phone, while for friends, social media (51 per cent) and SMS (31 per cent) rule the roost. As for casual acquaintances, 45 per cent prefer to communicate with them via Facebook Messenger.
The recent explosion of free instant messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp has left young Aussies feeling overwhelmed and under fire from a new form of mobile messaging fatigue, according to survey results released today that show nearly half of 18-24 year olds stress about the right communication methods to use for different people and situations.
With no clear-cut rulebook or etiquette guide on whether it's ok to WhatsApp your boss or send your parents a cheeky Snapchat, it's the monkey on the back of modern day communications that's seeing 39 per cent of young Australians yearning for a simpler time when they had to think less about the best way to contact someone.
The research, commissioned by amaysim, Australia's fourth largest mobile service provider, has found that more Aussies aged 18-24 are now using Facebook Messenger (88 per cent) than they are SMS (87 per cent), while Snapchat (50 per cent) and WhatsApp (27 per cent) are also hot on the heels of more traditional SMS messaging.
It's a far cry from the days of a simple phone call, with 70 per cent of 18-24-year-old Aussies reporting that they never bother with using a home phone.
The down side of these high-tech tools is the additional angst they bring. Never mind the existing worry over whether a friend or romantic interest has called or texted, 44 per cent of young adults agreed that modern messaging options have added a new layer of stress to social situations due to the ability to see when messages are read (or haven't been), when people are online (and possibly ignoring you), and when someone is (or isn't) composing a reply.
This is in stark contrast to most Aussies aged 55 and over (82 per cent), who hardly ever or never stress about the communication methods they're using. So much for being young and carefree.
According to Ged Mansour Head of Communication at amaysim, the research reinforces the complex collection of choices being faced by young Aussies when it comes to communicating.
'In an age when we're more connected than ever, something as seemingly straightforward as communication should be getting simpler, not more complicated and head-spinning," Mansour said.
'With SMS, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp - and so the list goes on – there's no denying we're spoilt for choice. With so much modern communication at our fingertips, it really is no wonder that young Aussies get sweaty palms at the thought of having to decide how to communicate."
To coincide with the release of the survey, amaysim has also worked with prominent Aussie comedians Josh Hawkins and Paige Gardiner to create a humorous new web video series, which looks at simple solutions to some of life's complexities. The first video, -How to contact people', offers some tongue-in-cheek advice on which communication methods to use for particular people in your life.
Women are more likely (64%) to reserve specific communication methods for particular people than men (46%);
Facebook Messenger is the most popular instant messaging service across all age groups by far, with more than half of all Australians (55%) using it;
While half of all 18-24 year olds use Snapchat, usage plummets to 19% in the 25-34 age bracket, and then down to single digits in the older generations;
Those in the 45-54 age bracket make mobile phone calls the most (92%), followed by 18-24 year olds (90%);
80% of Australians use SMS;
81% of 55+ year olds use a home phone, while only 30% of 18-24 year olds do;
95% of Australians don't use public payphones.
To watch amaysim's web video series, visit amaysim.com.au or YouTube
Question: What inspired the research conducted by amaysim?
Ged Mansour: Here at amaysim we're all about removing at least one of life's hassles – confusing mobile plans. With the research, we wanted to find out whether the mountain of modern instant messaging options now available had made it simpler or more complicated for Aussies to get in touch with one another. Turns out there are more hassles involved in mobile life than just choosing a plan!
Question: What surprised you most about the research amaysim?
Ged Mansour: We had a hunch that without a guide, folks would get the stress sweats thinking about how to get in touch with their mates, but we were surprised at how much nail-biting it actually causes. The research found nearly half of 18-24 year olds stress about the right communication methods to use for different people and situations. It's a first world problem we're all faced with on a daily basis (if not hourly) but we were really surprised to discover the scale of hair-pulling it's causing - especially given the fact that smartphones are now more common than hipsters with beards.
Question: What is mobile messaging fatigue?
Ged Mansour: Mobile messaging fatigue is a term we reckon really sums up the fact that young Aussies are feeling overwhelmed from all of the communication options that are now available at their fingertips. The research found that 73 per cent of 18-24 year-olds reserve specific communication methods for particular people in their lives. The choice isn't between a phone call or text message anymore – now it's a laundry list of options ranging from Facebook Messenger and FaceTime to Snapchat and WhatsApp.
Question: How is mobile messaging fatigue making Aussies miserable?
Ged Mansour: In an age when we're more connected than ever, something as seemingly straightforward as communication should be getting simpler, not more complicated and head-spinning. Back in the day we were limited to phone calls, SMS and email, we're now spoilt for choice. This communications buffet is causing grief for young adults in particular, with nearly half of 18-24 year-old Aussies (41 per cent) stressing about which communication method is the right one to use for different people and situations. This is in stark contrast to most Aussies aged 55 and over (82 per cent), who hardly ever or never stress about this.
Question: What is Google Hangout?
Ged Mansour: Google Hangouts is an instant messaging service that comes pre-installed on all Android phones and tablets. It's also accessible through the Gmail web app and can be installed on iPhones and iPad
Question: What are the rules in regards to mobile communication?
Ged Mansour: There are no rules, and that's actually what's driving the mobile messaging fatigue in the younger generations! With no clear-cut rulebook or etiquette guide on whether it's ok to WhatsApp your boss or send your parents a sneaky Snapchat, 39 per cent of young Australians actually yearn for a simpler time when they had to think less about the best way to contact someone.
Question: How can we stop the stress associated with communication methods?
Ged Mansour: When in doubt, you can't go wrong with the old faithfuls: mobile phone calls and SMS, which are used by 88 per cent and 80 per cent of Australians respectively. If you prefer a free online option, Facebook Messenger has the broadest takeup, with 52 per cent of Australians using it.
Question: Can you tell us about the Josh Hawkins and Paige Gardiner How To Contact People, video?
Ged Mansour: We're really excited to work with awesome local comedy talent, Josh Hawkins and Paige Gardiner, on a series of web video content that nail life's complexities with some simple solutions and truthbombs. The -How to contact people' video actually highlights the mobile messaging fatigue that was revealed with our latest research, and offers some guidance on which communication methods are the best ones to use for different people in your life.
Question: What are the best way to communicate with: Parents, Grandparents, Friends, Partner, Boss and Work colleagues?
Ged Mansour: According to our research:
Parents: Mobile phone calls were by far the most widely used option at 36 per cent.
Grandparents: This wasn't covered by the survey specifically, but for extended family, mobile phone calls were again the most widely used option at 26 per cent.
Friends: Mobile phone calls were the most widely used option at 28 per cent, followed by SMS at 23 per cent.
Partner: This wasn't covered in the survey.
Boss/Work Colleague: Email was the most widely used method at 24 per cent.
Interview by Brooke Hunter