LONDON — Many people act a bit “differently” within the privacy of their own home, but a new survey finds most adults are actually having full-on conversations with items that can’t talk back! The poll of 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom finds over half routinely “chat” with inanimate objects at home. Another 60 percent say they’ll often have “entirely two-way” conversations with their pets.
Commissioned by TheJoyOfPlants.co.uk and conducted by OnePoll, the survey also finds 44 percent of adults frequently talk with their house plants. Within that group, four in 10 usually ask their plant if it’s thirsty.
A bit more understandably, over a quarter have lashed out verbally at an object or appliance for failing to do its job. For example, people often scold their TV or coffee maker for failing to turn on. Conversely, sometimes household items perform their functions a bit too well. Twenty-four percent admit they’ve yelled at an alarm clock to shut up. Meanwhile, close to 20 percent have pleaded with their car to keep going while low on fuel and over 10 percent have verbally thanked an ATM for dispensing their cash.
Most respondents have been caught mid-conversation by another human being. As many as six in 10 have been exposed while talking to an object and over half of those situations (60%) ended in laughter.
Plants love hearing a soothing voice
These chats are quite frequent as well. About six in 10 adults talk with their plants on a weekly basis. Another eight percent talk to their plants every day! Close to 40 percent believe these pep talks help their plants grow, while 37 percent report feeling happier themselves after speaking with some shrubs.
As far as specific comments, “you need a drink”, “you’re getting big”, and “you’re not looking your best” are the most common things people say to plants. Nearly three in five (57%) believe they speak to their plants with a “loving tone” and close to one in five have even played music for their plants. Classical, R&B, and electronic are the most common musical genres played for plants.
“The data for this goes as far back as Charles Darwin in the 1700s who recognized vibrations encourage plants to grow. You don’t even have to talk directly to plants – as long as you’re having conversations near them, they’re going to be enjoying those vibrations and it will benefit them,” says Michael Perry, a houseplant expert working with TheJoyOfPlants, in a statement.
“When it comes to vocal tones, many feel low, bass-heavy voices are best but in fact, plants respond most strongly to voices in the 115-250hz range. For reference, men’s voices are around 85-155hz, while women’s are normally 165-255hz – much better for the plant’s range.”