Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson, has thrown down the gauntlet to Australians, challenging them to switch on their "Out of Office” on all social media and emails for R U OK?Day, pick up the phone and have a conversation.
Branson and his company, Virgin Mobile, said they would rather Aussies use this time to pick up the phone to have a real conversation on R U OK?Day on September 10.
Virgin Mobile said it is supporting this initiative by offering free calls to its customers to any network within Australia on the day. Even Sir Richard himself said he will be turning on his “Out of Office”.
Virgin Mobile has released data from a recent survey that showed Australians are talking to each other less, and instead hiding behind email and social media.
Key findings from the report include:
- Australians spend 2.5 hours communicating via social media, text and email, but only 20 minutes on the phone to friends or loved ones;
- Not only are Australians speaking on the phone less frequently, the time we spend per phone call is also decreasing by 4-8 minutes compared to last year;
- A third of Aussies have ignored a call in the last week because they didn’t feel like talking, and a third of Aussies have sent a message to a loved one instead of picking up the phone.
Virgin said that despite this, Australians haven’t lost the desire for a real conversation, with 86 per cent of those surveyed reporting that speaking to a loved one on the phone always brightens their day.