We’re having a #GoodChat
We’re having a #GoodChat about how Kiwis communicate. Because although communication is second nature, we know that sometimes our nature gets in the way. So, we surveyed more than 2,200 New Zealanders to find out how we are interacting with the important people in our lives, with the findings exploring the relationship between communication and technology. The results have been eye-opening and raise some interesting questions… Are we hiding behind digital communication? Do we spend too much time on our smartphones? Are Kiwi men as stoic as we think they are?
We’ve enlisted the help of psychologist Dr Anna Martin to put the findings in context and shed light on how we could be communicating better with the people closest to us – from our partners and best mates to our children and relatives. Read on to learn more.
We asked Dr Martin to have a #GoodChat with a few Kiwis about how they communicate with their loved ones and the role technology plays – good and bad. From Walter and Adele who are approaching their 60th wedding anniversary to Marliese who battles time zones to stay connected with family in Sri Lanka, Adrian who has to keep up with his far-flung family and Ciana who is navigating a long-distance relationship. Their experiences are both unique and relatable. Listen to the podcast now to hear Dr Martin discuss our research findings in context with their stories.
Is it time to put our phones down?
When it comes to our relationships with our partners, the research revealed a startling number of Kiwis feel their partners’ high smartphone use makes them feel insignificant:
- More than a third (39 percent) of Kiwis are concerned their partners are spending too much time on their smartphones, and say this is affecting the quality of their relationship
- Almost one in five report feeling insignificant when their partners spend too much time on their mobile phone.
- Just 12 percent of Kiwis say their partner’s excess smartphone usage doesn’t bother them at all
But it’s not just our relationships with our partners that can be affected by our smartphone usage. Many Kiwis believe their siblings (33 percent) and best friends (27 percent) spend too much time on their mobile devices.
DR ANNA’S ADVICE:
“Constant checking and scanning of messages can send a signal that what’s on the phone matters more than who’s in the room. It’s important to take the time to switch off and be present in the moment with our partner. While technology has an incredible array of benefits, real life interactions remain key to maintaining a healthy relationship.”
TIP FOR COUPLES:
- Set dedicated device-free time or zones e.g. a ‘no smartphones in bed’ rule
“You’re really going to think twice about sending that text or answering that call if you know you have to get up and leave the room to do it.”
About Dr Anna
Dr Anna Martin is a practitioner, author and speaker. She works as a child, adolescent, adult and couples therapist, based in Auckland.
Anna’s professional focus is on helping individuals, couples and families to develop communication methods that enhance relationships.