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In Australia, social media is damaging the art of conversation

In Australia, social media is damaging the art of conversation
Rigged: There's always a problem when commercial organisations come out with such surveys. In this case, as part of its "ongoing commitment to making mobile better,"

Almost three in five people (57 per cent) in Australia are calling their family and friends less frequently since the rise of social media. According to a survey of more than 1,000 Australians, nearly four out of five (79 per cent) believe social media and technology are causing us to lose the art of conversation.

Some two-thirds (63 per cent) say it's easier to text a friend or a loved one instead of calling for a chat. And, three out of five Australians (60 per cent) wish they received more phone calls from their nearest and dearest, according to a survey conducted by Virgin Mobile Australia. Yet, an overwhelming four out of five Australian social media users (82 per cent) admit that speaking on the phone actually makes them feel more connected to people than social media interaction.

There's always a problem when commercial organisations come out with such surveys. In this case, as part of its "ongoing commitment to making mobile better," Virgin Mobile has joined forces with R U OK? to encourage Australians to have more conversations that count. R U OK? aims to prevent suicide by encouraging people to have regular, meaningful conversations throughout the year to help anyone who might be struggling with life.

There were other findings too:

  • Three-quarters (75 per cent) of Australian social media users believe the majority of their friends online still don't truly know what's happening in their lives;
  • Women are more likely than men to agree that texting someone is easier than calling them (68 per cent v 58 per cent);
  • Two out of five (45 per cent) Australians say they don't call their friends and family as often because they feel like they already know what they are up to through social media;
  • Two out of five Australians (43 per cent) prefer emailing, texting and using social media to communicate than speaking on the phone;
  • More than a quarter (28 per cent) of Aussies feel the only free time they have to chat with friends during the week is on the daily commute;
  • The average Australian received only four phone calls on their last birthday, in comparison to 11 social media messages.
Date posted: July 13, 2015 Last modified: May 24, 2018 Total views: 15