- Almost 5 million Brits have faked illness to excuse themselves from social plans to stay in and watch TV
- 18-34 year olds (53%) are much more likely to cancel plans with friends and family than the average Brit (33%)
- Nights out with friends (54%) are the most likely to be dropped, but nearly four in 10 (38%) have abandoned work events and a brave 10% have cancelled on their partner
- Watching TV is now the most popular choice (37%) for Brits on Saturday nights – even 18-34 year olds favour it (30%) over going out for dinner (26%) or drinks (25%).
Five million Brits have faked illness to abandon Saturday night plans and watch TV, according to new research by uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service.
A third of Brits (33%) admit to pulling out of social plans to stay in and watch TV – but for one in 10 (10%) young adults it’s a monthly occurrence. Flaking on social plans shoots up among the younger generation, with over half (53%) admitting that they’ve cried off events to stay in with the TV.
While Brits have offered up a lack of funds (18%), the weather (9%) and even their children (9%) as reasons that they can’t make a night out, they are actually more likely to feign illness (27%) than come clean and simply tell the truth (25%).
It seems the closer people are, the easier it is to let them down. Half of absences are from nights out with friends (54%) and one in eight (13%) are friends’ birthdays. Four in 10 (38%) say they’ve bailed on plans with their work colleagues and an especially brave one in 10 (10%) have even cancelled plans with their partner.
Texting and WhatsApp are the most popular ways to pull out of plans (42%), but a quarter (25%) prefer to cancel over the phone. One in eight (12%) say their preference is to bite the bullet and do it in person.
There is some reasoning behind the revoking of plans, though. Brits admit their favourite thing to do on a Saturday night is stay in and watch TV (37%), movies (34%) and order a takeaway (32%). These trump going to the cinema (13%), attending gigs (11%) and even taking in a show (11%).
Even among the younger generation, staying in to watch the telly (30%) is now a more popular thing to do than going out for dinner (26%) or drinks (25%).
Dani Warner, TV expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Brits still rightfully think of Saturday night as the most sacred time of the week. And the reverence for the weekend certainly hasn’t changed, but how we like to spend it has.
“Whereas Saturday might have once been the default night for going out, people have started to gravitate towards the home as a hub for social activities. Whether that’s staying in and catching your favourite shows with friends, or even grabbing a takeaway with the family, we’re increasingly looking to our own nests as a way to relax, socialise and catch up at the weekend.
“However, with TV now available on demand, you don’t need to cancel your plans with friends and family as you can watch your favourite show any day of the week.”
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