People value meaningful relationships over social extravaganzas. We feel more deeply connected to fewer people.
With social media reaching zero growth, we see individuals engaging less frequently with the broad social circles they built up over the years. Instead we see people investing more time and energy in looking after their close circle of family and friends who are important to their lives. They continue to rank family and friends as critical to happiness. This doesn’t sound like a deep insight ‘people love their families’, but it is the nature of the relationships and the value invested in them that matters.
Lack of housing supply and unemployment rates, are resulting in 40% of young people (18-29) continuing to live at home. The family environment is lasting longer for many households in Ireland. This can add to stress for both parties as well as being a continued financial strain for parents. However, we are less isolated than the apartment dwelling years.
The contracting circle makes life a bit easier to manage. We feel more deeply connected to fewer people. Family occasions are more significant and are compelling greater participation.
Interesting Stats: Having a close circle of friends and family is seen as the most important factor for a happy life by over half of all Irish consumers. (Mintel 2014) 1,000 men consider themselves stay-at-home dads, almost double the 2001 figure of 5,700 (CSO 2012) Skype recorded 862,000 unique users in Ireland in January (Microsoft 2014)