WhatsApp is new meeting point for families, says survey

A new survey has revealed that 90% of people prefer WhatsApp to catch up with family, indicating that the communication app has replaced dinner-table conversations.

The Indian Family Report, released on Tuesday, also said millennials, aged between 20 and 30, consider friends as new family as they fill the growing gulf between their parents and siblings.

Renowned data measurement company Nielson surveyed 769 people across six cities, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. Though the sample size is too small to draw definite conclusions, the responses collected from those interviewed for the survey reveal that “broken extended families” are doubling compared to the statistics in Census 2011.

The survey also underlines the growing isolation of individuals from the family and the ever-worsening addiction to gadgets, something institutions have been studying across the country.

Dr Manoj Sharma, who coordinates Service for Healthy Use of Technology at Nimhans, said the empirical data is inadequate to study the issue in detail. “Many are bogged down with problem solving at work and in relationships. To top it, tech addiction is driving them to isolation and loneliness,” he said.

Among the respondents, 53% cited work pressure as a reason for not meeting their extended families, while 53% said they had no time and 45% pointed to the long distances. Also, 76% said they had to cancel family holidays at least once in the past three years.

Consequently, 91% said friends are the new family. Millennials top the list of groups that lose out the most on family time. Half of them spend less than 10 days with their grandparents, while one in three have the same amount of time for their siblings.

Sharma said technology-driven isolation leads to psychological distress. “In 2013, 17% of the 3,000 participants in a survey admitted to distress caused by tech addiction,” he said.

Things have considerably changed in the past five years and empirical data with a larger sample size is needed to assess the actual situation, he added.

“Today, technology has gone to rural hinterland,” he pointed out. “The individuals position in the joint family isnt the same as before. National surveys should collect data on some of these points to get a clear picture.”

The latest survey has been held for Britannia Industries, which runs family holiday campaigns to promote their products.

Family, friends

* 91% say friends are new family

* 53% cite work pressure for not keeping in touch with extended family

* 52% find no time; 45% live too far from family

* Half of the millennials, aged between 20 and 30, spend less than 10 days with siblings

A new survey has revealed that 90% of people prefer WhatsApp to catch up with family, indicating that the communication app has replaced dinner-table conversations.

The Indian Family Report, released on Tuesday, also said millennials, aged between 20 and 30, consider friends as new family as they fill the growing gulf between their parents and siblings.

Renowned data measurement company Nielson surveyed 769 people across six cities, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. Though the sample size is too small to draw definite conclusions, the responses collected from those interviewed for the survey reveal that “broken extended families” are doubling compared to the statistics in Census 2011.

The survey also underlines the growing isolation of individuals from the family and the ever-worsening addiction to gadgets, something institutions have been studying across the country.

Dr Manoj Sharma, who coordinates Service for Healthy Use of Technology at Nimhans, said the empirical data is inadequate to study the issue in detail. “Many are bogged down with problem solving at work and in relationships. To top it, tech addiction is driving them to isolation and loneliness,” he said.

Among the respondents, 53% cited work pressure as a reason for not meeting their extended families, while 53% said they had no time and 45% pointed to the long distances. Also, 76% said they had to cancel family holidays at least once in the past three years.

Consequently, 91% said friends are the new family. Millennials top the list of groups that lose out the most on family time. Half of them spend less than 10 days with their grandparents, while one in three have the same amount of time for their siblings.

Sharma said technology-driven isolation leads to psychological distress. “In 2013, 17% of the 3,000 participants in a survey admitted to distress caused by tech addiction,” he said.

Things have considerably changed in the past five years and empirical data with a larger sample size is needed to assess the actual situation, he added.

“Today, technology has gone to rural hinterland,” he pointed out. “The individual’s position in the joint family isn’t the same as before. National surveys should collect data on some of these points to get a clear picture.”

The latest survey has been held for Britannia Industries, which runs family holiday campaigns to promote their products.

Family, friends

* 91% say friends are new family

* 53% cite work pressure for not keeping in touch with extended family

* 52% find no time; 45% live too far from family

* Half of the millennials, aged between 20 and 30, spend less than 10 days with siblings

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