By Daniel Hunter

Many British mobile phone users are so attached to their devices but so worried about the cost of calling someone back that they’ll answer a call whatever they’re doing, according to a new survey by Vodafone UK. We don’t think twice about answering a call while preoccupied in the bathroom, or even when we’re spending ‘quality time’ with our partner.

While being ‘busy’ in the bedroom topped the list of times people should never answer the phone, worryingly, a third of mobile phone users said they would do it. During a wedding, at the dinner table and on a date are also times when people will take a call rather than wait and call back later, according to the majority of those questioned.

Vodafone’s Mobile Manners survey of over 2,000 mobile phone users shows that men are more likely than women to think it’s ok to talk in the loo, and those from Cardiff are most likely to take a call while on a date.

“It seems as a nation we’re desperate not to miss out on the latest gossip no matter what we’re up to," Srini Gopalan, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK said.

"But this doesn’t mean you have to take a call even when you’re responding to the call of nature, having a romantic dinner or in bed.

The study into modern phone use reveals the crucial role that mobile phones play in everyone’s lives with 90 per cent of people saying they had received a very important call on their mobile. Over a quarter said they had been given a job offer, nearly 15 per cent said they had been told about the birth of a child and one per cent even said they had been proposed to via their mobile phone. In London, the number of people who have been proposed to over the phone rose to more than 4%.

The research also revealed while the majority of us have between one and 50 numbers in our phones, we only speak regularly to between five and ten of those people. It also emerged around 8 out of 10 of us have numbers in our phone’s address book that we have never called.

The research also examined why many of us choose to text rather than call. The results showed convenience, time, cost and bizarrely, how much we like the recipient of our text, all play a part, with teens most likely to go through this thought process when they get their phone out.

But the research also showed that despite their love of texts, younger mobile phone users actually want to talk more often and would make more calls if they didn’t have to worry about the impact on their pocket.

“It’s time to revive the art of conversation. People still want to talk but they want to do that without worrying about the cost," Srini Gopalan added.

“We’ve seen from our research that the younger generation in particular would call more people more often and would talk for longer if cost wasn’t a factor. And there are clearly plenty of people in everyone’s address book that we don’t catch up with often enough.”

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