Just a day after Ofcom released research showing that text communications are taking over from voice based mobile phone calls, research from Acision show a definitive split between the genders in SMS usage.
The survey covered 2000 respondents and was led by psychologist Graham Jones. The survey was designed to determine any trends in the usage of text messaging.
In terms of gender differences, men text more contacts than women, on average messaging 17 people regularly, while women tend to text the same 13 people.
Men tend to use texting as a functional, easy way to communicate without getting into a conversation - a way of avoiding lengthy phone calls.
Women tend to see it more as an additional communication medium, and are more likely to send longer text messages (41%) or SMSs that say 'I love you' (54%). Acision believes this is to 'deepen relationships'.
Men in the workplace are three times more likely to text a work colleague than women, but as many as 15% of mobile users in the UK have called in sick via text message - again using text to avoid a conversation.
"Running in the back of the human mind is the need to do everything with the least possible effort, and we instinctively search for the easiest way to communicate. This is why we rely on and still love text messaging," said Jones.
Unsurprisingly, the research also exposes stark differences across the age groups.
Just 19% of young people communicate using services such as Skype and Twitter on their mobile, compared to 94% of 18-35 year olds who send SMS.
The 18-25 year old bracket sends an average of 19 text messages per day, or 133 messages a week, more than double any other age group.
92% of Smartphone users still relying on text, despite the technology being over 20 years old - and under pressure from newer OTT services such as iMessage and Whatsapp.
The survey showed that 69% of users claim that they need SMS or couldn't live without it.
"While it may evolve to incorporate new features and provide new services, people are clearly attached to text messaging, due to its ease of use and the fact that it can reach anybody, on any phone. People tend to check their text message instantly, which doesn't necessarily happen with other services," said Acision CEO Jorgen Nilsson.
Over 55 year olds mostly send text messages to reach family (55%), with 45% of young people preferring to send messages to friends.
"Age plays a part in how people send text messages - older people tend to find typing with thumbs comes less naturally, which could lead to texting being less common. As mobile and text is a technology that young people have grown up with, they will naturally send more text messages. While teens thirty years ago may have phoned their friends as part of growing up and social development, nowadays they send text messages. The social reasons haven't changed, but the preferred communication method has," said Jones.
46% of respondents also stated that SMS is more reliable than other messaging services, and 40% said for its speed of deliverability and its geographical reach (40%).
"Email is being used much less for personal communication and much more for business, whereas social networks tend to remain a medium to message friends and peers, sometimes on a one-to-many basis," Jones said.
"Text messaging remains a functional communication tool, but still with a personal aspect, which could explain its longevity. You can say things in text you wouldn't necessarily say on another communication tool."
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