MEXICO.- One of the most watched TED talks features Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist who talks about the findings of the longest study on happiness: he says that basically personal relationships are one of the most important factors for good health into adulthood and live longer. With this hypothesis and guided by his purpose as a company, Telephone today presented a report on the importance of human connections in several of the countries where it operates in Latin America: the Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
“In 2018, the president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, ordered us all to rethink the company’s mission and we realized that what moves through our networks is neither gigabytes nor data, but the lives of people. Our mission is to make our world more human by connecting people’s lives.” affirmed the Global Director of Brand, Advertising, Sponsorships and Media of Telefónica, Rafael Fernández de Alarcón, at the beginning of the presentation and added that they then wondered about the responsibility that this mission entails.
In this sense, one of the main findings of Waldinger’s research is that when humans connect with each other, they are capable of incredible things. So from there came the company purpose What is it what they can do to boost connections and get more people connected better. Hence the study and launch of the Better Connected platform, where you can access different experiences.
According to the report, 74% of Hispanic Americans believe that personal relationships are essential to their lives (in the case of Argentines it is 69%), because they allow us to learn from others and get to know each other better; and they help to express themselves and transmit what they think, among other things.
As for the relationships themselves, the partner and the children are the most important group of relationship in all the countries (51%), followed by the family of origin (35%). In the case of Argentina, the first group is also the most important with 53% followed by the family with 29%.
On this point, however, Víctor Aguado, Manager of Research and Brand Positioning, He clarified that the vital moment modifies the perspective, being the family of origin more important among the youngest who still do not have a partner and children. In terms of gender, for men the partner and children are more important than the family of origin, unlike women, who often assume the role of caregivers.
On the other hand, consulted about the “rights of admission” when establishing quality relationships, Hispanic Americans were very selective by 80%. In the case of Argentines, selectivity reaches 82%, with close ties between three and four. These types of links are based on two pillars: respect and trust.
Meanwhile, when asked about if technology helps maintain quality relationships, 78% considered that between “a lot” and “quite a lot” (in the case of Argentina the percentage was 77%). And social networks also play a relevant role in 67% (in the country, 59% consider that they play an important role in building quality relationships).
In particular, when asked if they like to have contact in person or by WhatsApp, 74% of Hispanic Americans said they preferred chat to face-to-face (72%), which would be explained by the geographical extension of some countries, according to Aguado. In the case of Argentina, the face to face is still prevailing over instant messaging: 78% prefer contacts in person, against 76% who choose WhatsApp.
By last, the connotation of being connected is positive in 70% of Hispanic Americans, higher than in Spain, where it gave 61% (in Argentina it is 64%), while the importance of disconnecting is less strong in Latin America than in the European country: it is 70% against 91% in Spain. In Argentina, the importance of disconnecting is 76%, especially when you are saturated and stressed, as in other countries.
Also at the presentation was the CEO of Telefónica Hispanoamérica, Alfonso Gómez Palacio, who conducted an interview by video call with Robert Waldinger. During the dialogue the psychiatrist said that the quality of relationships matters because good relationships release stress unlike difficult relationships.
“Stress changes our body, but if we go home and talk to someone close, the body rests. In contrast, difficult relationships keep us more stressed with our bodies in a position of fight or flight. A difficult relationship is harmful to health, a positive one protects it, ”she considered.
On the other hand, Waldinger referred to two negative aspects of the technology. “We know that technology can connect people and that those connections are good for us for our health and happiness. In other words, if we use it for that, it’s fine, but if we only use it to compare ourselves with what acquaintances publish on social networks, it makes us feel worse. Meanwhile, there is another negative aspect of social networks, which is how easy it is to divide us through them. The most engaging content to share is the one with the most anger. The positive aspects circulate less. This means that the content with anger circulates faster than the one that can unite us. I think there is a big problem to solve”, he concluded.