Does emailing a colleague in the next cubicle
seem logical? Does expressing an emotion in a text message using LOL … 🙂
… SETE …TRDMF(+) come naturally? For the majority of Canadians, this is
exactly how we communicate. What ever happened to human interaction?

Expressing an emotion through text-messaged acronyms or cryptically
crafted email cannot replace the thrill of witnessing a genuine smile or
making a friend really laugh out loud. While technology helps Canadians stay
in touch, there is no substitute for real, face to face connections. And
Dentyne(*) gum – the champion of human connections – is declaring that it’s time
for Canadians to get face to face with family and friends.

The experts at Dentyne(*) gum have launched a national campaign in support
of generating more, authentic face time. Dentyne(*) commissioned a national
survey(++) to help further understand this phenomenon and has partnered with
relationship expert Allie MacPhail to help Canadians get offline and get face
to face.

Reliance on technology as a method of communicating is at an all-time
high and according to a recent survey, eighty per cent of Canadians agree that
technology is used when face to face communication would be better. While
Canadian’s prefer face time, the reality is they are more likely to use
technology to socially connect with family and friends.

“Nine in ten Canadians agree that they feel more connected when face to
face yet they use technology an average of 17 times per day to connect with
others socially compared to connecting in person with an average of only two
people per day,” says David Bagozzi, Senior Brand Manager, Dentyne(*). “Face to
face encounters are declining in a society that is increasingly going online.

No doubt technology is important – but the fact remains that the best
connection is a human connection that provokes discussion and satisfies our
emotional needs. Dentyne(*) wants to empower Canadians to power down; unplug;
log off; and be together. Take the time to make face time(*).”

It’s Better Face to Face

Canadians are feeling the strain of technology on their relationships
with friends and family, with sixty-one per cent wishing they could go back to
a time where reliance on technology wasn’t so heavy.

“Human interaction moves people emotionally and while electronic
communication is efficient to stay in touch, Canadians want and need to
complement their relationships with more face time,” says relationship expert
Allie MacPhail who works with teens, parents, married couples and peers on
strengthening their relationships. “Although Canadians, specifically teens and
young adults, are often very well connected online and through text messages,
many of them feel isolated, lonely and lacking real, personal connections.

Quality relationships are more important than quantity of friends and
Canadians need to get offline and make face time with their family and peers.”

Here are some tips from Allie MacPhail on how to create more face time
with family and friends:

– Invite the person out (or in) to participate in a common
interest/activity (i.e. dog walking, lunch, going to the gym etc.).

– Ask for some face to face time. People often mention that they want to
get together but the actual planning of it happens much less

– Turn off the electronics. As much as we think we can still focus on
the conversation at hand, the TV and computer are huge distractions.

– Start an informal group such as a book club or join a sports team.
Face to face will happen with more ease when people have common goals.

– Respect the time of others and yourself while still honouring the
relationship you have (i.e. “I know you are busy, but I would love to
spend an hour/30 minutes with you to catch up.”).

Canadians Want Face Time

The Dentyne(*) survey revealed many Canadians feel that they are losing
their personal touch with family and friends:

– While we crave face time, Canadians are more likely to use technology
to connect socially with friends and family (ninety-seven per cent)
rather than connecting in person (seventy-nine per cent);

– And when Canadians are face to face, breath matters. In fact ninety-
five per cent of Canadians confirm fresh breath is important;

– More than half of Canadians (fifty-five per cent) agree that life is
so busy that electronic communication is necessary to stay in touch
with friends and family;

– Canadians are more likely to contact friends via phone (ninety-one per
cent) or email (eighty-six per cent);

– Canadians aged 18-34 are more likely than older adults to use a
Blackberry, cellular phone, Facebook and instant messaging to stay

– Albertans use technology the most when connecting with friends and
family, averaging 24.2 times a weekday, while Quebec has the lowest
usage, averaging 14.9 times a weekday;

– The extent to which males and females rely on technology vs. face to
face communication on a typical weekday for social purposes (excluding
people from home) is virtually identical, with females showing a
slightly increased reliance on technology (18 times per day) vs. males
(17 times per day).

“Many Canadians under the age of 30 are increasingly socialized to rely
on text, email and social networking to communicate with people in their
lives,” says MacPhail. “As a result, they are not getting the emotional
benefits of a personal relationship and can therefore have a difficult time
functioning in a normal conversation. Canadians need to leave their PDAs
behind and activate their social and emotional connections. Face time is
quality time and it’s just better face to face.”