What's the last text message you sent to your partner?
What about your mum?
Did you say something important? If it was the last text you ever sent, would it adequately convey how you felt about them?
And what about your last in-person interaction? Were you fully present, or were you glancing down at your phone to check your notifications mid-conversation?
We're drifting away from one another
Arnott’s has released new research uncovering that Australians are contacting each other more than ever through their mobile devices, but in fact, having fewer meaningful, face-to-face interactions as a result.
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While 86 percent of Australians contact their loved ones at least once a week using a mobile or digital device, with more than a third doing so daily, only one in four (25 percent) say those interactions are meaningful, with a heartfelt text only being sent to someone they care about a few times throughout the year.
What's more, while 82 percent of Aussies say spending quality time with friends and family brings them meaning in life, only 27 percent are interacting regularly with their loved ones in person.
It's OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are part of typical adolescent development. Social media can support teens as they explore and discover more about themselves and their place in the grown-up world. Just be sure your teen is behaving appropriately in both the real and online worlds. Many teens need to be reminded that a platform's privacy settings do not make things actually "private" and that images, thoughts, and behaviors teens share online will instantly become a part of their digital footprint indefinitely. Keep lines of communication open and let them know you're there if they have questions or concerns.
Christmas is still known as the time of year for coming together with friends and family, and Aussies seem to agree. More than two thirds (77 percent) declared that spending quality time with friends and family is the most important thing to them during the silly season and half of those stated that if they could receive one gift at Christmas, they would choose meaningful time with family. Aw!
The video that will stay with you
In light of the research, Arnott's decided to conduct a social experiment between families and loved ones.
First, people were asked to read aloud the last text message they sent to one another.
Ranging from "what's for dinner?" to "I've just had the urge to vacuum," most texts weren't particularly deep in terms of emotion.
Next, however, participants were asked to text each other about how much the other person meant to them - which, predictably, is when the waterworks began in the Kidspot office.
Say it in person
One by one, we saw friends, relatives and families open up to one another about just how much they valued their relationships.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (mom of Chelsea): When my daughter was younger, I would say, “‘Chelsea, you’ve never been a baby before, and I’ve never been a mother before, and we’re just going to have to help each other get through this.”
A grandfather burst into tears as he told his grandson that he "meant the world" to him, and let's just say there wasn't a dry eye after that.
Watch the video above and see for yourself - there really is no substitute for catching up for a cuppa with the people that matter.
I'm off to call my Granddad for a chat.