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Quantity beats quality for the disconnected generation
Optus survey reveals Australians are more connected to Facebook friends than their family

23 April 2012

Despite having more tools than ever before, new research reveals that we are focusing on quantity not quality, when it comes to communications.

According to new research* by Optus, 85 per cent of Australians feel they are not communicating with friends and family as much as they would like, while almost half (43 per cent) admit they spend more time communicating with people outside of their friends and family.

The average Aussie has 165 Facebook friends, however only 33 (21 per cent) of these are considered 'close'. Rather than feeling closer to their network, 45 per cent of people actually feel that social networking makes them feel less close to friends and family, with more than half (54 per cent) admitting they find it difficult to say the words they need to loved ones, in particular to our parents.

Despite the new findings, there is a desire amongst Australians to connect with our loved ones on a deeper level. Two thirds (66 per cent) would like to spend more time communicating with their closest friends and family, with 'I love you' topping the list of what we'd most like to say. However, 57 per cent confess they find it difficult to say what they need to because it leaves them feeling uncomfortable and they don't have the time (45 per cent).

Disconnected Generation

The average Gen Y has 241 friends, but only 44 are considered close
Aussies send an average of 40 emails a week, with only 30 per cent of these to friends and family
Gen Y's send the most emails per week at 49, but a mere 12 of those are to loved ones
81 per cent would like to reach out to one person to be closer to them
27 per cent would like to tell the people closest to them, 'You mean the world to me'
Aussies would like almost an extra hour a day to connect with loved ones (6 hours a week)

The survey was commissioned by Optus to celebrate the launch of a major brand campaign, aimed at showing customers they care by bringing them closer to the things that matter most to them.

Gavin Williams, Head of Segment Marketing at Optus said, "In an age where we can communicate with more people than ever before, the research suggests we find it hard to stay as close to the people who matter most. Social media is a fantastic way of staying in touch. We just need to use it more to stay in touch with the people we care about the most - that is our close friends and family."

"Our new campaign reflects our desire to bring a more human and emotional feel back into our brand. Optus wants to demonstrate that what matters to our customers also matters to us." Mr Williams said.

*Research background:

Optus commissioned an independent survey of a representative sample group of 2,195 Australians aged 18-64 years of age. Fieldwork commenced on Monday 16 April and was completed on Wednesday 18 April 2012. Responses were collected online. The data was weighted by gender, age and area to reflect the latest population estimates.

Media Contacts:
Trisha Routledge
Fuel Communications
(02)8127 6510

Liz Greene
Optus Corporate Affairs
(02)8082 1132