Press Release | 23 Nov 2015



hanks to the advent of social media, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with loved ones all over the world. But are some of us foregoing personal contact for digital conversations?

  • More than one in every ten Brits prefer to keep in touch via the internet
  • Despite this, one in three feel connected devices make people less sociable
  • 67 per cent of Brits feel less active due to using connected devices
  • Statistics found as part of Vodafone’s Digital Behaviours study, looking into the technology habits of more than 2,100 British residents

Thanks to the advent of social media, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with loved ones all over the world. But are some of us foregoing personal contact for digital conversations?

New statistics released today by Vodafone have found that 9.7m Brits prefer digital contact to meeting their friends in person(1), despite almost one in three (30 per cent) believing that connected devices make people less sociable.

As part of its new Digital Behaviours study, Vodafone looked in-depth at the digital habits of 12 connected families from around the UK, and surveyed more than 2,100 other British residents on their own tech tendencies(2).

30 per cent of Brits believe they are less sociable when using digital products, with that percentage rising to 38 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

One in five British parents (19 per cent) are concerned that their families are using digital products too much, with 15 per cent even worried that other parents judge them for allowing their kids so much screen time.

British parents in 22m homes now have the chance to take control with Vodafone’s new broadband service. The service works seamlessly with a companion app, the first app of its kind for home broadband, that gives users the ability to schedule when Wi-Fi is available and when it’s not on certain devices. Users can even set timers for the service to switch itself off when it’s time for bed.

“Connected devices have become a huge part of everyday life for all of us,” said Cindy Rose, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK. “But it’s important that we all strike a balance between our time online and that spent offline. It’s why we give our broadband customers the ability to easily control their internet use through an app. That way, you get the best of both worlds – a great connection when you’re online, but also the chance to switch off.”

Vodafone has also published the latest edition of its Digital Parenting magazine – full of tips on how to help kids stay connected safely and manage their screen time constructively. The latest issue can be viewed here:

The percentage of UK adults using smartphones has shot up from 39 per cent to 66 per cent in the past three years, with the number of phone users with 4G high-speed mobile internet growing almost tenfold from 2.7m to 23.6m over the course of just 12 months between January and December 2014(3).

With the ease of being able to access information at their fingertips, two thirds of Brits (67 per cent) believe that using connected devices make them less active – with one in five (17 per cent) even saying they may be too dependent on the internet at home.

Despite this, a huge 87 per cent believe that widespread connected devices is the way things are, and won’t change.

Notes to editors

(1) Calculation is based on percentage of sample who prefer contact with friends via connected devices (15 per cent), applied to the Office for National Statistics figure for the British population (64,600,000). Resulted in 9,690,000

(2) The Digital Overload study was conducted by Vodafone and Bryter between 26 and 27 September 2015, comprising an in-depth study of 12 UK families and 2,103 UK respondents.

(3) Source: Ofcom

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:


Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587