Viber study: Risqué texting is commonplace among Brits

Brits are far less conservative than their American counterparts when it comes to texting, according to a new report from messaging app firm, Viber – 21st Century Messaging Etiquette.

The study, which surveyed 1,200 adult mobile phone users in the UK and 1,200 in the US, found that over a third of Brits admitted to texting when drunk (35%), compared with less than a quarter of Americans (23%).

Despite recent reports of falling alcohol consumption among young people in the UK, the survey found that British millennial consumers between the ages of 18- 34 were more likely to text while drunk (43%), compared to their peers in the US (27%).

However, it’s not just drunk texting where Americans proved more conservative than Brits. Around 37% of US respondents said it’s never acceptable to “sext”, compared to just 29% in the UK. The most open to sexting are UK millennials, with only 19% feeling it was unacceptable while 1 in 5 UK adults has sent a racy text to the wrong person.

Younger adults are particularly liberal. A third of British millennials (35%) say it’s ok to sext one person (compared with 29% of all age groups) and nearly one in five (17%) approve of sexting as many people as you like, as long as you’re messaging them individually.

Other Etiquette No-Nos
  • 30% of Brits find disappearing mid-conversation to be the most irritating texting and messaging behaviour. For millennials it’s 36%.
  • Poor grammar (23%)
  • Excessive use of “text speak” and acronyms (22%)
  • Sending too many messages (16%)

Messaging and texting has evolved quickly over a relatively short period of time, and it has created new social mores and conventions. Looking at this list, we can all see we’re guilty of messaging behaviour that might irritate others at times, and it’s helpful to understand how others might view our behaviour in order to prevent the build-up of tension and misunderstanding.

Cristina Constandache, Chief Advertising Officer at Viber