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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Texting improves sex life
Phone and chocolate
Texting or chocolate? Which would you prefer?
Messaging has great text appeal in the UK, especially when it comes to relationships, a survey has found.

The poll, conducted by interactive TV station The Dating Channel, found that some people would rather give up chocolate and TV than lose the facility to text.

For a nation renowned for its reticence, texting is providing a lifeline with 75% of people using the technology to flirt and 25% claiming it made them feel more confident and witty.

It is proving invaluable in relationships with half using it to talk dirty and a third asking someone out via a mobile message.


Text has gripped the imagination of the UK in a very short space of time, and already has its own language, its own etiquette and its own humour

Peter Baker, The Dating Channel
A cowardly 13% confess to ditching someone with a text. And 85% of the 850 respondents admitted to sending messages at least once a day, while 41% claimed to send more than five text messages each day.

One of life's necessities

It is becoming a necessary part of life for some, with two in five saying they would rather give up chocolate and one in 10 willing to live without TV rather than lose their ability to text.

Around 13 billion text messages were sent in the UK in 2001 and it is the fastest growing method of communication.

Peter Baker, head of production at The Dating Channel is not surprised by the enthusiasm people have for text messaging.

"Text has gripped the imagination of the UK in a very short space of time, and already has its own language, its own etiquette and its own humour," he said.

Text education

Texting remains, however, the preserve of the young, according to another survey, commissioned by high street mobile phone retailer Phones4u.


Our older customers tend to use their phone purely to make calls rather than to send or receive text messages

Jenna Jensen, Phones4u
Its own poll found that 80% of mobile phone users aged between 45 and 65 had never sent a text message, with nearly a third not even aware that their phone offered such a service.

In response, Phones4u is offering free text education lessons in local stores.

"Our older customers tend to use their phone purely to make calls rather than to send or receive text messages," said marketing manager of Phones 4u Jenna Jensen.

"Their grandchildren on the other hand communicate every day via text messaging and it's great to be able to help reduce that generation gap."

See also:

25 Mar 02 | dot life
Mystery of missing text messages
14 Feb 02 | Business
Cutting spam out of your mobile diet
05 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Text message voting to be trialled
17 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
Killer text message found
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