New research reveals 90% of Brits use digital to connect with loved ones during the holidays

New polling commissioned by Vodafone UK shows how important the internet and digital technology is during the festive season.

New polling commissioned by Good Things Foundation’s Strategic Partners, Vodafone UK,  reveals  the importance of being connected at Christmas. It found that 90% of UK adults who celebrate the festive season will use connected devices to keep in touch with friends and family on the big day, with 67% of people connecting with others in a different part of the country and 33% overseas. 

Almost a fifth of people who celebrate Christmas will video call friends and family when presents are opened on Christmas Day, closely followed by Christmas Dinner (13%) and when enjoying games or quizzes (8%). 

The most popular ways to stay in touch this festive season are text messages (78%), messages on social media (48%), sharing pictures (46%) and video messages (30%), followed by voice notes (15%). 


This research  shows just how important digital access is for so many people, not just for using essential services, but also for staying in touch with loved ones. 

The research comes as Vodafone announces it has helped two million digitally excluded people and businesses cross the digital divide. People can support the campaign this Christmas by playing Elf & Seek – an augmented reality game which gives people the chance to gift one of 50,000 SIM cards to those in need, donated by Vodafone through its everyone.connected programme on their behalf. 

When asked how they’d feel if they were disconnected over the Christmas period, people said they’d feel upset, lonely or anxious (24%) with one-in-twenty saying it would ruin their Christmas (6%). Through Vodafone’s everyone.connected campaign, the business is committed to tackling digital exclusion by helping four million people and businesses cross the digital divide by 2025. 

This includes a range of partnerships and initiatives to help give more people the connectivity and skills they need to stay connected and participate fully in an increasingly digital society. As part of the proposed merger with Three UK, Vodafone has committed to retaining all current measures to support vulnerable customers, including social tariffs and digital inclusion campaigns.

Nicki Lyons, Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer at Vodafone UK, said:

 “At Vodafone, we’re committed to closing the digital divide all year round, and at Christmas we know that being connected to loved ones is more important than ever. We are proud to have now helped two million people and businesses cross the digital divide, with a commitment to double that figure by the end of 2025.”

Helen Milner OBE, Group CEO at Good Things Foundation, said:

 “As the cost-of-living crisis intensifies in the lead up to Christmas, our National Digital Inclusion Hubs are seeing more demand than ever before for their services. With this new research outlining the scale of the problem, the ability to connect with family and friends this festive season, alongside access to basic services and employment opportunities, should not be a luxury.

“Vodafone’s everyone.connected initiative reaching this important milestone of helping two million people and businesses cross the digital divide is an incredible achievement. We are proud to work with Vodafone and help support them with their goal to double that figure by the end of 2025 .Together, we can help fix the digital divide for good.”

*This online survey of 2000 UK adults who celebrate the festive season / Christmas was commissioned by Teneo on behalf of Vodafone and conducted by market research company OnePoll. Data was collected between 01/12/2023 and 06/12/2023.

The National Databank

The National Databank is giving free data to people experiencing data poverty.


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