As a nation of smartphone addicts, we're often criticised for spending too much time staring at our screens, but our devices are actually helping us to celebrate Mother's Day – and mum doesn't mind.
According to a new TalkTalk Mobile study into the ways families stay in touch, two thirds of mums would be happy to get a digital message from their child rather than a card this Mothering Sunday.
Busy lives, large extended families and distance mean a third of families won't spend the day together. Instead, almost half of UK mums expect to receive a text or WhatsApp message from their child and around one in ten anticipates a video call, through the likes of Skype or FaceTime.
Traditional ways of showing our appreciation have fallen in popularity as over half of UK mums doubt they'll receive a Mother's Day card and over 60 per cent don't think they'll receive a present.
The advent of more affordable smartphones and plethora of apps mean families are using their mobiles more than ever to stay in touch. One in seven families now have a dedicated WhatsApp group and UK mums admit to spending on average 13 hours and 45 minutes a week on their smartphone communicating with just their family.
The top apps mums use to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren are:
1. Text message
2. Facebook Messenger
3. Video chat e.g. Skype, FaceTime
One mum who's been encouraged to take to technology by her grown-up children is singer and TV presenter, Cheryl Baker.
"My twin girls are always on their phones and the only way I could keep up with what they're up to was to get tech savvy," said Cheryl. "I'm often away touring, which means we spend quite a lot of time apart but because the girls are never far form their mobile, we're constantly in touch. I probably speak to them more now than ever."
Dan Meader from TalkTalk Mobile commented: "Technology will never replace spending quality time together as a family, especially on Mother's Day. But as the research shows, our mobiles are helping us feel closer to our loved ones. The message from modern mums is clear - it's the thought that counts, not the way it's delivered."
TalkTalk Mobile offers SIM, smartphone and tablet bundles starting from £3.95 a month, which all include free unlimited calls between family members linked to the home account. TalkTalk is also currently offering 50% off for the entire the length of the mobile contract on its Small and Medium SIM-only plans.