Age of the Digmum but a phone call remains number one on Mother's Day

Media Release, 07 May 2012

Social media has become the norm for mums to stay in touch with kids who have moved out of home, with 80 per cent “friending” them on at least one online site according to new research from Telstra1.

Telstra Director of Consumer Marketing, Maryanne Tsiatsias, said the findings show more than 62 per cent of mums regularly use Facebook (up from a national average of 47 per cent in 2009), with mums aged 45-54 years the most avid users.

“The explosion of internet connected devices from smartphones to tablet PCs means social networking is a crucial tool for Aussie mums to stay in touch and keep an eye on the content of their kid’s online pages.  

“Interestingly, older mums are embracing their ‘digimum’ persona, with more than half of mums over 55 years using social networking sites to keep track of what their kids are up to.”

However while mums are enjoying their tech-savvy status, it appears they are still traditional at heart, with a good old-fashioned phone call still the preferred method of sharing Mothers’ Day love.

“Children thinking of wishing their mum a virtual Mothers’ Day might need to think again. The overwhelming majority of mums want to speak to their kids on Mothers’ Day, with 80 percent identifying it as their preferred contact method.” Ms Tsiatsias said.

The research also revealed kids are now more accepting of their mums joining their online circle of friends, particularly when they move out of home, with 90 per cent of those who have recently left the nest connecting with their mum on social networks.

However net-savvy mums should remember to mind their online manners, with 1 in 10 admitting they had been “defriended” by their children.

“Social networking mums should remember online etiquette is not that different to how they would interact with people in the real world, especially with their own kids.

“And remember, if you’re confused about how to approach your kids online or what the acceptable etiquette is, check with them beforehand to avoid posting anything that might embarrass them,” Ms Tsiatsias said.   

Telstra’s digimum research also reveals:

  • New South Wales and South Australian children are more likely to give their mum a tech gift than the rest of Australia.
  • Victorian mums keep it simple— they are more likely to use only one method to connect with their kids, versus New South Wales and Tasmania who are more likely to use a combination of technologies.
  • Queensland and New South Wales mums place the greatest emphasis on receiving a phone call from their child on Mother’s Day.
  • Time with family is the number one wanted Mother’s Day gift, with 64 per cent selecting it as the top of their wishlist.
  • 14 per cent of mums admitted being worried about doing something embarrassing on Facebook, such as accidentally posting a bad photo or messaging the wrong people.


Telstra’s top tips for digimums:

  • Don’t force your kids to befriend you online.  You might want them on your friend list, but consider if they want you on theirs.  It’s their time online too—so give them some room.
  • Be “share” savvy and save the embarrassment. Be conscious of over sharing your information— you might want those Christmas photos on your page, but do your kids want to be tagged in the photos eating the plum pudding?
  • Watch where you click! With everyone connected it’s easy to get caught up in a maze of people’s profiles- after all, it’s exciting to find a friend of a friend who you went to school with.  But watch the clicks- it’s all too easy to accidentally ‘like’ a random photo and reveal your snooping ways.
  • The digital world makes it easier than ever for people to find you, but you don’t always want to be found. Be cautious of your own privacy and if you’re worried about certain people trying to friend you, simply adjust your privacy settings.

1This research was conducted online by Pure Profile on behalf of Telstra in April 2012 on a representative sample of 1,108 Australians from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas.
2Telstra Smartphone Index 2011: This research was conducted by Neilsen on behalf of Telstra in July 2011 on a representative sample of 2,827 Australians aged over 16 from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas.