We're getting our New Year's phone calls in early: Most people contact loved ones around 7pm instead of waiting until midnightText message traffic peaked at
7.02pm on New Year's Eve last year
Four times as many texts as calls were sent on December 31st, 2011
Trend of sending same message to multiple people is behind the change
03:48 GMT, 31 December 2012
The traditional phone call on the stroke of midnight is a New Year's tradition as entrenched as Auld Lang Syne.
But now it seems Britons text their Happy New Year wishes hours ahead of midnight, research has shown. In 2011 traffic peaked at 7.02pm and analysts expect the same trend this year.
Almost four times as many texts as calls were sent on 31st December last year, the research by Tesco Mobile found.
New tradition: Most people will text their loved ones around five hours before midnight on New Year's Eve
This is thanks in part to the trend of 'broadcast text messaging' – sending the same text to your whole address book to spread the love at the touch of a screen.
With the recession rumbling on people are staying at home to save money, the researchers found.
As a result they're not staying up so late, so the calls and texts are getting earlier and earlier.
Fear of forgetting to call at midnight and concerns over whether loved ones will already be in bed at 12am also played a part in the trend for getting well wishing done by early and by text.
The person we are most likely to call hasn't changed. When it comes to that one person we must wish a Happy New Year, eight in ten of those surveyed said when it came to New Year well wishing, it was their mum they called, with dad following in second place.
Simon Groves, Chief Marketing Officer, Tesco Mobile said: 'It seems our customers are doing away with the traditional midnight call and are instead texting their Happy New Year messages earlier.
'We have seen this pattern form over the last few years – no doubt in part to the recession meaning festivities have become more low key affairs at home, so revellers are likely to be hitting the sack earlier.'
Dwindling: Huge crowds such as those seen on the streets of London in 2005 are less common