Thursday 21 June 2018

Face-to-face talk fading as youngsters chat online

Nearly half of 18 to 24-year-olds said they felt more comfortable using social media, messaging apps and online to talk to people they did not know. Stock Image: Getty Images
Nearly half of 18 to 24-year-olds said they felt more comfortable using social media, messaging apps and online to talk to people they did not know. Stock Image: Getty Images

Jennifer Cockerell

Young people would rather use social media or talk online to people they do not know than have a conversation face to face, research has suggested.

Those aged 18 to 24 are around 20 times more likely to never speak to their neighbours than those aged 55 and over, a survey carried out on behalf of Cancer Research UK found.

Experts said the research showed an increasing generational divide between how millennials and baby boomers prefer to communicate.

The charity said that while social media can be helpful in building up contacts, studies show that young adults with high social media usage can feel more socially isolated than those who use it less.

Nearly half (44pc) of 18 to 24-year-olds said they felt more comfortable using social media, messaging apps and online to talk to people they did not know, the research found.

Just two in five (37pc) of 18- to 24-year-olds said they would be more comfortable speaking in person, compared to two-thirds (67pc) of over-55s.

More than a quarter (27pc) of the younger age group said they have never spoken to someone they did not know on public transport.

Irish Independent

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