Over 4m people can't remember last time they had conversation that wasn't online

  • Over four million people in the UK can’t remember the last time they had a meaningful conversation that wasn’t online with someone, according to research by ghostwriting company, Story Terrace.

    Separate research from Ofcom has also revealed that on average, Brits are online for 24 hours a week, suggesting that people would rather communicate through screens than face-to-face.

    Story Terrace commissioned the national study, wanting to reveal how we as a nation are “evolving into communities that live side by side by way of a functional existence”.

    Some other statistics from the study are as follows:

    • More than 1 in 5 people - 9,798,000 - don’t think their friends really listen when they’re talking about their worries or issues 
    • More than 1 in 10 people - 5,199,000 - say they don’t have time to have meaningful conversations with their loved ones, or vice versa
    • 1 in 10 people - 4,940,000 - can’t remember having one conversation of worth with anyone in the past week
    • Over 2.5 million people - 2,590,000 - tell their taxi driver/hairdresser etc. more personal information than they do friends and family
    • Almost 1 in 4 people - 8,970,000 people - know of incredible historical legacies and/or unsung heroes in their family that only a few family members are aware of
    • 3 in 10 people - 10,888,000 people - believe that the historical legacies and heroes in their family will be distant memories in the near future, because their legacy is left undocumented
    • Over 7.5 million people - 7,624,000 - haven’t taken the time to reflect on their life and what they’ve managed to achieve through the years

    The rise of social media means millions of posts are often lost in a sea of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter updates, with more content being produced on a daily basis now than ever before. Forbes magazine previously reported that 90% of the world’s entire data was generated between 2016 and 2018.

    RELATED: QUB researchers find social media holds health benefits

    According to the Mental Health Foundation charity, 17% of adults in the UK cite the lack of real-life communication and community as one of the key drivers of their psychological challenges.

    Rutger Bruining, Founder and CEO of Story Terrace claimed that “there are several reasons to which we can attribute this decline in communication, but one of the key factors is that, in today's content and celebrity culture, many people simply believe that their tales just aren't worth telling.”

    Story Terrace is a company which matches people with professional ghostwriters and having documented thousands of life stories, they are now launching a national campaign to encourage people to rediscover the positive effects of self-expression and communication on their overall happiness.

    RELATED: Do you think you're addicted to social media?

    Rutger continued: “We've found that if you ask the right questions, everyone's life is interesting. You don't have to be a celebrity or politician to have a story worth capturing - many people have made interesting life choices, pursued their dreams leading to incredible stories of failure and success, endured adversity, explored the world, contributed to their family and community, and been part of history as it happened. These stories spark deeper connections and are treasured by relatives when they are recorded."

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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