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Gen Z Adults Avoid Phone Calls From Parents, Opt For Messaging Apps

Study shows majority of young adults prefer WhatsApp, iMessage, and Snapchat over phone calls for communication.

A quarter of Gen Z adults actively avoid phone calls – and six in 10 even blank calls – from their own parents, a study has found.

A third find calls “awkward” and 24% would never just phone someone out of the blue.

In fact, 36% reckon the bulk of the phone calls they make are trying to get hold of their mates on a night out.

The poll, of 1,000 adults aged 18-25, commissioned by Sky Mobile, found 73% would rather catch up on WhatsApp, iMessage or Snapchat than speak on the phone.

However, it’s not just calls they are ignoring, as 41% have even muted a group chat with their mum and dad.

The mobile network has teamed up with TV star Jeff Brazier, who has been on campus finding the best way parents can contact them as millions of students head off to university for the first time.

A quarter of Gen Z adults actively avoid phone calls – and six in 10 even blank calls – from their own parents, a study has found. ALEX GREEN/PEXELS

Jeff said: “I used to think I was up to speed with all the texting tricks of the younger generation, but after I visited some lovely students, I’ve officially been schooled.

“Keeping connected to my kids is super important particularly as they embark on the big challenges in their lives.

“So, I’m glad I’ve been given the opportunity to learn from some of the digital natives of our time.”

It comes after a separate poll of 1,000 parents, with children aged 13 to 25, revealed 71% believe picking up the phone for a chat is the best way to keep in contact with someone.

Six in 10 parents believe the younger generation are scared of answering calls compared to previous generations with 64% agreeing they only hear from their children via WhatsApp and text.

The research also explored messaging between parents and their children – with 41% of Gen Z noting their parents often reply ‘ok’ to almost everything.

While 30% get inundated with a stream of x’s at the end of a message from mums and dads.

It also emerged 35% find it amusing when their parents have no idea what emojis mean, with 27% thinking their parents are clueless about the ones they are sending themselves.

A quarter of Gen Z adults actively avoid phone calls – and six in 10 even blank calls – from their own parents, a study has found. JULIA M CAMERON/PEXELS

Whereas, 38% admitted they hardly ever use emojis and if they do they try to play it safe with 40% of parents revealing getting their head around what emojis mean is like learning a new language.

It’s not just emojis that are puzzling them though as 28% have had to turn to Google to work out what their children have sent them.

And 24% think they are trying to baffle them on purpose – with ‘slay’, ‘peng’ and ‘roadman’ among the most perplexing terms used.

Despite the difficulties with communication, the study, commissioned by Sky Mobile, found two-thirds of parents are currently footing the bill for their teen or Gen Z offspring’s phone contracts.

Nearly six in 10 (59%) are doing so to ensure their kids are easy to contact, while 41% want to support them financially where they can.

And 64% of those polled, via OnePoll, would even happily share any of their own unused data with them.

Paul Sweeney, managing director for Sky Mobile [], added: “As a parent of university-aged kids myself, I know all parents want to stay connected as their kids start a new term.

“All unused data rolls into one Sky Piggybank that can be shared, students can get a top-up whenever they need it to stay in touch – by message, not phone call.”


1. Reply “ok” to everything (41%)
2. Signing off texts with lots of XXX’s (30%)
3. Replying to big or good news with a thumbs up (29%)
4. Being a victim of autocorrect (28%)
5. Sending random photos or jokes without context (22%)
6. Using proper punctuation in messages (21%)
7. Writing ‘haha’ as ‘ha ha’ (19%)
8. Using emojis incorrectly (19%)
9. Sending images with motivational quotes (17%)
10. Using LOL as lots of love rather than laugh out loud (15%)

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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