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The Engineer's Notebook

The Engineer's Notebook is a shared blog for entries that don't fit into a specific CR4 blog. Topics may range from grammar to physics and could be research or or an individual's thoughts - like you'd jot down in a well-used notebook.

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Call Your Mother!

Posted May 20, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD

Since cell phone use has become widespread, it has changed much of how we conduct our personal relationships. We connect with our friends and family more easily than in the past via social media apps and texting, we even conduct our romantic lives with the device—using dating apps or sending illicit images via text to our romantic partners. While it is debatable whether this convenience in communicating has improved or impaired our relationships, the device has certainly made communication more frequent.

In fact, the relationship that is reaping the most benefits of this device is the one with our mothers. According to research from the University of California Irvine, we are calling our mothers more often than earlier generations. Researchers are directly correlating this uptick in communication over the last two decades with the convenience and widespread use of cell phones.

The increase in frequency was determined using a survey where participants were tasked with picking a number between 1 and 6 that would most apply to the frequency that they called their mothers: Selecting 1 indicated less than several times a year and choosing 6 was associated with speaking to their mother on a daily basis.

The results: In the U.S., calls to our mothers averaged around once a week, making the U.S. number 6 among the 24 nations surveyed. Italy and Israel were the survey leaders with calls to their mothers occurring several times a week. On the other end of that survey, Japan, Brazil, and Russia reported fewer conversations (several times a month) with their mothers.

Another interesting finding from the study: Calls to mothers may have changed in frequency, but it hasn’t changed who is doing the calling. Mothers still talk to their daughters more frequently than they do their sons and, in terms of birth order, the youngest child still calls more frequently than older children.

Also interesting: Just because there was an uptick in cell phone communication, didn’t mean that there was an increase in face-to-face visits between mother and child.

So while your mother is probably thrilled that you are talking to her so often, you might consider a face-to-face visit—thereby reducing the potential for mistakenly sending her an embarrassing communication meant for someone on your dating app.

Are you communicating more often with family members thanks to the worldwide adoption of cell phones?


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