Brits speak out – Acceptable and unacceptable video call behaviours
May 30th, 2024, Kineree Shah

Brits speak out – Acceptable and unacceptable video call behaviours

In a recent survey of 2,005 British adults, we explored what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior during video calls on smartphones. The results reveal strong opinions on various behaviors. 

Nine in 10 adults find eating or chewing loudly during video calls unacceptable (91%), and eight in 10 disapprove of using speakerphones in a shared environment or shifting focus to interact with someone else without informing the caller (81%). Seven in 10 Britons consider making video calls early in the morning or late at night inappropriate (71%), and two-thirds disapprove of making or answering calls in crowded places (63%). Additionally, 55% of Britons surveyed find holding the phone at an angle that does not capture the face properly unacceptable, and 51% dislike making video calls from a dark or poorly lit environment.

Younger adults tend to be more lenient about video call behaviors compared to older adults. Half of adults between 18-24 age group find making video calls late at night acceptable (51%), while only 9% of those aged 55 and older agree. Similarly, 46% of the youngest age group find early morning video calls acceptable, compared to just 12% of the oldest group. Younger Britons are also more tolerant of holding the phone at an improper angle (62%), making calls from poorly lit environments (61%), and making calls in crowded places (46%). In contrast, older adults overwhelmingly find these behaviors unacceptable. For example, 77% of those aged 55 and older disapprove of making calls in crowded places, compared to 45% of the 18-24 age group.

Gender differences reveal men are generally more accepting of certain behaviors compared to women. For instance, a quarter of men find making video calls late at night or early in the morning acceptable, compared to one-fifth of women. But some behaviours are intolerable for both genders. Nine in 10 women (93%) and of men (89%) find eating or chewing loudly during calls unacceptable. Additionally, 84% of women and 79% of men disapprove of using speakerphone in shared environments.

Overall, the survey shows that while there are some commonalities in what behaviors are considered unacceptable during video calls, significant differences exist based on age and gender. Younger adults and men tend to be more lenient, whereas older adults and women are more likely to adhere to stricter video call etiquette.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 8-9 April 2024 with a nationally/ representative sample of 2005 adults (aged 18+ years) in Great Britain, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education and social grade to be representative of all adults in Great Britain (18 years or older) and reflect the latest ONS population estimates.