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Though it hasn’t yet moved in on the tried-and-true phone call, Facebook may be replacing email and text messaging as a more popular way to stay in touch with friends and family online, according to a? small-scale survey by Prompt Communications, writes MediaBuyerPlannner.?

The survey, which asked 300 consumers in Boston to explain how they both social media tools and more traditional communications in their daily lives, found that phone calls remain the most common method of communication, with 99% of respondents regularly using the phone to connect with friends and family.

Facebook is now the next most popular communication tool, with 96% of respondents regularly using it to connect with friends, followed by text messaging at 93% and email at 91%.

When asked which method they use most frequently, most participants chose text messaging, at 37%, followed by Facebook and then the phone (28%). Although respondents clearly feel that email is now less important than social media, only 20% said they could live without it entirely.

No Bosses Allowed

The difference in how consumers view their personal information on Facebook when it comes to work associates vs. friends and family is also dramatic, the survey found. Many people have nagging concerns about their employers seeing their personal information, with 73% worrying that their bosses will view their profile/s on social networks. However, they are far less hesitant to allow their families access, with only 27% saying they would not want family members to see the same profiles.

A Negative Effect

Interestingly, for as much as people report using online social networks, email and SMS, overall they believe that such advances in technology have created a negative effect on their lives and interpersonal communications in several ways. The majority (60%) believes that it relies too much on technology, while 71% believe social media is making communication less personal.

Despite these reservations, people are still using social media regularly; 28% of respondents claimed that they could only go one week without using social media, with a further 24% worried about just a few days. These figures compared with just 27% who felt they could live offline indefinitely.

“It should come as no surprise to discover that people are using [Facebook] as a primary tool for communication,” said Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt Communications. “However, our survey results also show that people are still using more established methods of communication, from the phone to email.”

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