"According to statistics, over the next 40 years, we will spend:
520 days watching TV series,
six years watching television,
eight years on the internet,
10 years staring at screens.
How much time will you spend with the people who matter to you?"
The above ask comes from Ruavieja, the makers of Spain's popular herb liquor spirit of the same name, in its emotional — seriously, it's a doozy — holiday ad. In the video, six pairs of friends and family members who don't get to spend massive amounts of time together due to their schedules and locations are interviewed. Each pair talks about their relationships and why their time together is limited, but the real shocker moment comes when the interviewer asks each of them basic questions — their ages, where they live, how many times a year they see each other and for how long — to determine how much time they statistically have left with one another.
Our mortality and the time we have left to make marks on this world and its people are often concepts we push out of our minds, as we tend to assume we'll have tons of time to do the things that make us happy; to spend the time with the people who we love. In reality, we don't know how much time we have, but Ruavieja argues that a hell of a lot of that remaining time will be spent in front of screens rather than face to face with our friends and family (though video chatting can probably be excused as screen time, as it's one of the best parts about technology in terms of seeing our loved ones we don't live near).
I went to Ruavieja's website to find out how long, statistically, I have left with my 90-year-old grandmother, who I refer to as Nonna (grandma in Italian). I already know that I could make more of an effort to call her more regularly, let alone take the 40-minute drive to see her much more frequently than I do. So based on that fact alone, I was nervous putting our details into Ruavieja's calculator. I shared with it that I'm 28, Nonna's 90, and on average, I'd say we spend about five hours a month together.
Even just admitting that to a computer caused me to break down.
Once all of our data was filled in, a video popped up with words over the top, telling me how much time over the next 40 years the average person will spend on social media (three years) and watching videos on the internet (two years), and that based on how much time is likely left in my life and my grandma's, how much time I will spend with her based on how often we currently see each other.
Five days, zero hours.
That's just 120 hours. And that's based on statistics alone, not at all on what will actually happen in our lives. I have to do better — we all have to do better. I'm personally going to take some time today to call my Nonna, my friends and family who live overseas, and even those who are nearby, to ensure they've all seen this ad and know how much I want to cheat time and be able to spend as much of the time I have left with them as possible. After watching the above ad, I promise you'll want to do the same.