65pc of communication among pals via Facebook and texts
Two-thirds of interactions among friends are carried out electronically, and time spent talking on the phone or meeting in person is dwarfed by the volume of texts, emails and social media interactions, a survey has revealed.
The study found that the average adult now carries out 65 percent of their communication electronically via 140 texts, 72 Facebook interactions and 40 emails per month to friends and family, the Daily Mail reported.
Remarkably, around half of us haven't spoken to our closest friend on the phone for more than a month, with contact maintained through an endless stream of electronic messaging.
The research, commissioned by print and post specialist Docmail, found one in four feel that they rely too heavily on electronic media when it comes to staying in touch.
"It's clear to see that there is a heavy reliance on digital communication and that for the most part this enhances and adds value to our friendships," Dave Broadway of Docmail said.
"But the results show that many of us feel we rely on it too much and that it's actually changing the dynamics of our relationships.
"While we may be in more constant contact and have the ability to share and bring visual elements to our conversations, the time we spend speaking on the phone or even making the effort to see each other face to face is in decline," he said.
Nearly two thirds (63 percent) of the 2,000 adults polled have people they consider friends, but only ever contact them via text or on Facebook.
One third said they never go an hour without some sort of interaction with friends via Facebook, instant chat or text.
A text-happy 45 per cent have someone they describe themselves as permanently in contact with due to the sheer volume of electronic exchanges.
But two-thirds feel the amount of online interaction fails to enhance their friendships and the same number feel they do not see people face to face enough.
In fact, 40 percent hadn't seen their closest friend in over a month and more than half hadn't managed a phone conversation.
The shift away from talking on the phone was clear, with a third of Brits claiming they don't like talking on the phone, even with friends.
While social media is becoming integral to our relationships - remarkably, a quarter of us believe you cannot sustain a friendship in modern times without the use of Facebook.