Is "Sofalising" the new Socialising?


Yazino released new research that reveals:

  • More than a quarter (26%) of people spend more time communicating with friends online than in person
  • One in 10 (11%) adults is more likely to stay in at the weekend and catch up with friends online than go out to meet them in person
  • People use 11 different methods of communication with friends and family each day, including the likes of SMS, Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging

These new findings published by Yazino reveal more than a quarter (26%) of people spend more time communicating with friends online than in person. This new breed of social engagement has been dubbed "sofalising" - the act of primarily engaging with your friends online, preferring to communicate from a laptop or smart phone while lounging on a sofa rather than chatting over a coffee or beer.

One in 10 (11%) people are more likely to stay in "sofalising" at the weekend, catching up with friends online, than going out. This could be due to the increasing cost of going out to pubs, bars, restaurants, or that people prefer immersing themselves in a virtual world. They may prefer to chat online to friends via social games, Facebook and Twitter than chatting face-to-face. A number of "sofalisers" take it to the extreme, with three percent of adults spending more than 25 hours each week engaging with friends online.

Yazino's research reveals that 11% of people organise their social life via Facebook and social networking sites such as Bebo and MySpace. One in 20 revelers has missed out on a party or event because they missed the Facebook invitation.

People now spend almost as much time chatting to their friends in the virtual world as they do face to face. On average Britons spend 4.6 hours a week conversing with friends online, while spending just a little more time (six hours) meeting up in person. The Internet is also proving a fantastic arena for making new friends, with the average person making 6.5 friends through the Internet.

Yazino's Founder and CEO, commented: "Communication is constantly evolving. Some people are as used to seeing their friends" online avatar as they are their face. We are now just as likely to SMS or email a friend as we are to call them. People increasingly prefer quick and frequent engagement with instant updates on news than a prolonged chat and are also finding new ways to catch up with friends from their comfort of their sofa. Gamers tend to be by nature a sociable group and playing games is meant to be enjoyed with friends, the same way that you would sit around a table on a Friday night and play a card game.

The ever-increasing number of platforms for communication means that people now use up to 11 different methods to engage with friends and family each day. Almost three quarters of people (71%) text friends and family every day, with almost a third (31%) sending messages through social networking sites. Email is the primary means of communication between friends for 27% of people, with type-written messages replacing conversation. One in five Britons uses wall posts and status to engage with those close to them and a further 18% use live chat and instant messaging. While the Twitterati may reach out to their followers, few users believe it offers a good platform for engaging with friends and family. Just 3% of people use Twitter to communicate with friends and family on a daily basis

Regional findings

People living in Northern Ireland are the most sociable in the UK, spending 14.1 hours a week engaging with friends, with over half of this spent online. Those living in the East of England spend on average just 8.1 hours engaging with friends each week, with just 3.7 of these spent online.

Online activities such as social networking, blogging and tweeting can lead to the creation of larger and potentially even more diverse social networks. These communication tools are dramatically changing our social interactions. The last couple of years have seen the rise of a new breed of gaming built upon these social networking platforms, which are increasingly fundamental to the way we communicate and socialise.

Originally published here.

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