Survey: SMS-speak changing relationships in Britain

Mobile phone SMS are changing the way people approach romantic relationships, according to a survey published in the British newspaper The Times, quoted by an AFP report, said.

The report said more than half of mobile phone users aged 18 to 24 have sent or received an invitation to a date via text message, while a similar number have exchanged sexually-explicit messages, the study by the London School of Economics showed.

Just more than half agreed that flirting via text message would be a form of cheating on their partner.

'It acts as a kind of subliminal zone, an exclusive forum where the normal social rules are suspended,' Kate Fox, director of the Social Issues Research Centre was quoted as saying. 'People often say things in texts which they would never say in 'real life'.'

The survey also found that 54% of women under 25 used their mobile phone in public to deter people from approaching them.

British mobile phone users send an average of 3.6 text messages and make 2.8 phone calls a day. 51% of the 16,500 respondents sent at least six text messages a day but only 15 % made six or more mobile phone calls in a day, the survey further said.