It's official. A night on the couch bingeing on a favourite TV series is the best kind of night! New research reveals we love treating ourselves to an indulgent night in, and we regularly bail on plans made with friends, work mates and family in the process. It's called faux-cialising and it's rampant across Australia!
According to the latest research from Connoisseur Desserts (who make deliciously indulgent Chocolate Mousses and creamy Panna Cottas), 73% of Australians aged 18 and over regularly faux-cialise - cancelling social plans just to stay home to watch TV and experience the night we would have had via social media on our phones instead. Belgian Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel anyone?
So what has prompted the rise of the faux-cialiser? Social commentator Mark McCrindle points to a hectic work schedule, the comforts of home, and entertainment at our fingertips which making faux-cialising an attractive and completely acceptable part of our (increasingly less) social lives.
'The research shows Australians fall four camps when it comes to their attitudes and behaviours towards social plans.
The Socialites, for whom FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real and interestingly this group is predominantly men, aged 25-54 (the group least likely to faux-cialise)
The Wait and Sees, commitment-phobes who are men and women represented by 43% of 35-54 year olds (who do admit to faux-ialising regularly)
The Bailers, legitimising a night on the couch as the entertainment option of choice. This group is embracing faux-cialism and is strongly represented by women (64%) aged 35-54 (72%).
And the Homebodies, those who preferring to stay home all of the time and are embracing JOMO (joy of missing out) as a way of life (79% aged 35+). This type of faux-cialiser is equally represented by both men and women.
I'm sure we can all recognise ourselves in these groups," he explained.
Highlights from the research show that despite these nuances, the typical Australian is making pretty similar choices when it comes to their social lives and (not) going on a night out, probably lured by the temptation of a delicious Connoisseur Dessert!" said Mark.
The Connoisseur Dessert research highlights:
Home is where the heart is: When asked what night was their favourite night of the week to stay in, a whopping 45% of Australians reported they prefer to always stay home. Only 1% said they'd prefer to go out every night.
Plans Schmans: When we do make plans, we're displaying a real fear of commitment! While we initially get excited about the opportunity to socialise on a night out, 62% of us will stall on making a decision, preferring to wait to see how we feel closer to the time or on the day. This rings true across all age brackets.
Dropping in: 77% of us report to dropping in on social events just to show our faces all, a lot or some of the time. Not surprisingly, the Homebodies and Bailers are the most likely to do the drop in. For nearly 20% of 20-34 year olds, a -drop in' often means attending more than one event on a night out – really making the most of rare occasion to socialise out of home.
Dropping out: 69% of us are happy to cancel plans in the week of the event, and 14% admit they'll drop out on the day. Seems old fashioned politeness goes out the window across all generations with one in three bailing on the day before/day off/at the time. Tutt tutt!
Me time: Self-care is the main motivation for cancelling plans with 42% feeling the need to relax and recharge and another 40% seeking the peace and quiet of a night in. Bad weather (30%) and not being bothered to get dressed up (26%) are the next most popular reasons to bail. Then there's always the temptation of a delicious sweet treat to complete the indulgence….
Avoiding the awkies: Seems some of us will go to extreme lengths to avoid the awkwardness that results from our bad bailing behaviour and will RSVP at the last minute (17%), send word with someone else (16%), avoid posting on social media what we're doing instead (13%), avoid all contact with the organiser (10%) or avoid telling the organiser altogether (7%). The worst culprits, 20-34 year olds.
What happened to mateship? The people who we are most likely to ditch are colleagues (41%) and friends (40%). Only 3% are most likely to bail on partners (phew!) and 16% on family events.
We are most likely to cancel our attendance at work functions (24%) and casual catch ups with friends (22%). Conversely, 34% of 20-24 year olds are more likely to bail on drinks with friends than on work functions (7%). Talk about workplace commitment!
Excuses, excuses: The fall back excuse for last minute cancellations is feeling unwell for 66% of us. Family commitments are the next most used excuse at 36%, and a sick family member at 23%. Lame excuses such as stuck in traffic (6%) and a sick pet (4%) make the list. Just 11% of people chose to fess up that they just don't want to go.
Loving our downtime: For most of us, cancelling plans to go out means we've chosen instead a night spent relaxing on the couch (34%), sleeping (32%), watching TV (23%), or hanging out with a loved one (30%).
Eat me! Food is a key driver for a great night in with 42% cooking themselves a nice meal. 22% opt for take-away. Both of which can be perfectly finished with a Connoisseur Dessert!
'It's really interesting to see the rising trend towards staying in. It demonstrates the impact that technology has on every aspect of our lives – including redefining our social interactions and what that means for human relationships in the future. An indulgent night in, eating a favourite dessert in front the TV – mine being the Connoisseur Belgian Chocolate Mousse - is fast becoming a much anticipated and preferred form of entertainment," added Mark.
Question: What did you find when researching peoples changing social patterns and behaviours?
Mark McCrindle: According to the latest research from Connoisseur Desserts we found that -Faux-cialising' is ingrained in the lives of many Australians. Aussies want to be seen as being social and yet often prefer the comfort of their own home to going out and socialising. We also found that last minute decisions are becoming the norm. More than a third of Aussies (35%) indicate that their gut feeling when receiving an invitation to go out is that they would prefer to stay home.
Question: How have we changed our nights in?
Mark McCrindle: In the late 1990s we entered a virtual world in which we now spend more time in digital realities than face to face interactions, which has changed how we spend our nights in. Especially true for today's younger generations who have grown up in a world of technological devices – is the fact that screen-based technologies are changing how we spend our nights in. We know that watching TV is the activity Australians (54%) are most likely to do with their time when they have turned down an invitation to stay at home, and in recent years this has changed from just watching TV to watching streaming services like Netflix.
Question: Are more people treating themselves to an indulgent night in, than in the past?
Mark McCrindle: Australians are opting more than ever to stay home, with 45% indicating that they always prefer to stay home no matter what night of the week it is. Just 1% of Australians always prefer to go out at night (rather than staying home). Food is a key driver for a great night in with 42% cooking themselves a nice meal and 22% opt for take-away.
Question: Why are we bailing on our friends and family more to have indulgent nights in?
Mark McCrindle: We found that self-care is the main motivation for cancelling on plans and having an indulgent night in. Relaxing and recharging (42%), peace and quiet (40%) and me-time (37%) are by far the most common motivations for cancelling social plans and staying in.
Question: Can you explain the term -faux-cialising'?
Mark McCrindle: Faux-cialising is a term we have used to explain the act of treating ourselves to an indulgent night in, regularly bailing on plans made with friends, work mates and family in the process.
Question: How is entertainment making it easier for us to faux-cialise?
Mark McCrindle: Down time is highly valued by Australians and often the reason for cancelling on events. Watching TV is the activity Australians (54%) are most likely to do with their time when they have turned down an invitation to stay at home. -Game of Thrones' is currently the most popular show to catch up on when spending a night at home with 24% of Australians indicating that they do this. 15% of Aussies say they catch up on -Friends' when spending a night at home.
Question: When does faux-cialising become a problem?
Mark McCrindle: While prioritising down time is essential for Aussie's -social well-being', research shows that those who have regular casual get-togethers with their friends are happier than those who don't, more productive and have lower stress levels. So it is important to maintain face-to-face interaction with friends and family while still finding down-time to recharge and re-energise. As with most things, balance is key. So why not have the next night in with your family or friends and enjoy a deliciously creamy Original Belgian Chocolate Mousse or a smooth Panna Cotta with Raspberry and Pomegranate delivering a little twist! The choice is yours!
Interview by Brooke Hunter