A 3rd of adults have quarreled with somebody – after misreading a textual content message
And one in five people mistakenly assumed that someone was in the mood with them because they completely misunderstood the tone of a message.
Adults most often analyze texts and e-mails from work colleagues (35 percent), followed by a partner (20 percent) or a love interest (13 percent).
As a result, 23 percent waited to say something in person to avoid being misunderstood through the text – even if it meant waiting for weeks on end.
More than three-quarters (79 percent) believe real face-to-face conversation is the best way to talk to someone, rather than through a gadget.
Other barriers to communication include multiple people speaking at the same time (39 percent), background noise (39 percent), and people speaking softly (37 percent) or too fast (32 percent) – although experts warn that these could also be signs of hearing loss .
General practitioner and medical broadcaster Hilary Jones, spokesperson for Hidden Hearing, who commissioned the study, said, “Spending time with loved ones or friends, especially in person and not digitally, has a profound positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing.
“Personal communication enables us to understand tone of voice, pay attention to body language, and feel more connected, thereby reducing frustration, depression, and anxiety, which have been shown to be the most common feelings of misunderstanding.
“People want to communicate better, but they don’t realize that some of the biggest barriers are related to hearing loss.
“When you have difficulty hearing, communicating can become challenging and feelings of frustration can arise. That is why it is so important to be proactive and do regular hearing tests. “
The study also found that the most popular phrases Britons would rather hear in person than over the phone were “I love you” and “will you marry me?”. – both selected by 44 percent of respondents.
Three out of ten would also rather separate face-to-face than be informed on a screen.
Key benefits adults find in face-to-face conversations include the ability to look someone in the eye (51 percent), pay attention to body language (47 percent), and note their tone of voice (46 percent).
Other problems adults had due to a text misunderstanding are 41 percent who misunderstood a joke.
Another 42 percent found their sarcasm went undetected, according to the study conducted through OnePoll.
As a result, 31 percent feel frustrated, anxious (27 percent) and stressed (25 percent) from digital miscommunication.
Feelings of fear were particularly pronounced among the younger generation, however, with 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds being stressed about texting or emailing, compared with one in ten over 55-year-olds.
It also found that it’s not just technology that causes communication problems, as 45 percent of adults have difficulty hearing someone speak at least four times a week.
Men find it harder to hear than women, with the average man struggling almost once a day.
Almost one in five (17 percent) has lost communication with a friend or family member due to hearing loss, and 35 percent of people find hearing loss frustrating if left untreated.
But while one in three thinks hearing is critical to a conversation, more than 50 percent of those who have hearing loss have not had their ears tested.
Hilary Jones added, “If you or a family member is having trouble keeping up with conversation while you are socializing, it could be a sign of hearing loss.
“A hearing test and wearing hearing aids can help you listen better, feel connected, and prepare for conversations.
“Hidden Hearing’s five-minute online hearing test can give an instant insight into how well you or a family member can hear.”