Mums want phone calls not flowers on Mother's Day

Two thirds of mums happy to get a digital message rather than a card or flowers on Mothering Sunday

Happy moments together - mother and daughter

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.

Mother's Day stats

Appy Families

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.

Seeing pictures of their children and grandchildren is considered the top benefit, followed by being able to receive instant updates from family members. As a result, four out of five mums with grown-up children say they feel closer and more connected to 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
4. WhatsApp
5. Twitter

One mum who's been encouraged to take to technology by her grown-up children is singer and TV presenter, Cheryl Baker.

Cheryl Baker and daughter

"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.