‘I’ll just text you’: Is face-to-face social contact declining in a mediated world?

Roger Patulny*, Claire Seaman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The rise in the network society might lead to a decline in face-to-face contact as people substitute it with more mediated forms, or an increase in both face-to-face and mediated contact as complements, with unknown consequences for social support. This article examines trends in social contact, mediated contact (phone, online, etc.), and social support in 2002, 2006 and 2010, using aggregated ABS General Social Survey data. Results show an aggregate decline in face-to-face contact and rise in mediated contact in Australia between 2002 and 2010, but no aggregate decline in perceived social support, and a strong positive individual-level association between both forms of contact and social support. There are, however, signs of an emerging class-based digital divide, with low-income older men and less educated respondents reporting lower levels of mediated contact and social support by 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-302
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number2
Early online date12 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • ageing
  • class
  • digital communication
  • digital divide
  • gender
  • social contact
  • social support


Dive into the research topics of '‘I’ll just text you’: Is face-to-face social contact declining in a mediated world?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this