Choosing texting over sex and other shocking revelations about our cell phone behavior in the tech age
Smartphones are so much a part of our lives that we can’t leave home without them, but when has our need to check our phones gone beyond the pale? Tech-buying site Decluttr.com surveyed 1,000 U.S. smartphone owners age 18 and up to find out just how addicted they were to their phones.
Highlights from the survey include the following.
- Family Focused: Overall, smartphone owners look at their phones more when they’re with friends than during family time, but men do so more during either occasion: 67% during family time and 63% while spending time with friends. Multiple respondents also stated that they make a conscious effort to put their phone aside to focus on quality time with family.
- Distracted Dating: 67% of males, in comparison to just 13% of females, admitting to checking their devices whilst on a romantic night out.
- Sobering Sacrifices: Alcohol and video games were the top two things that men and women would give up before handing over their phones, but one of the biggest difference is giving up sex. Though not at the top of the list, twice as many women than men would rather give up sex than give up their phone. Sorry, fellas. Maybe it’s the distracted dating.
- Serious Streamers: 83% of men (in comparison to just 17% of women) say the worst part about not having their trusted smartphone with them is not being able to watch videos or stream movies and TV shows.
- Postponed Parting: Even if their phone had a cracked screen, 52% of men would put off getting it fixed because they can’t be without their phones.
Liam Howley, marketing director at Decluttr, comments: “While smartphones can be an extremely useful tool for information and entertainment, they can also lead to users missing out on what’s actually going on around them. Our survey suggests that men may be zoning out important occasions such as weddings in favor of checking their phones or falling short of paying attention to their family members, friends or even their date.”
However, when it comes to taking a break from their phones, 43% of men say a digital detox would be beneficial. The same goes for women, with 56% stating a detox would be good. Several respondents said that they use vacations as the perfect occasion to take a break from their phones. With Summer fast approaching, maybe it’s time for a break during a break.
Decluttr’s tips for weaning yourself off your cell phone:
- Gradually leave bigger gaps between checking your messages or social media posts. If you normally check every 15 minutes, make it once an hour, if every hour, leave it for 2-3 hours etc. Build up to only checking two or three times a day. You can let friends/work colleagues know in advance that you’re going to be doing this and that if there’s an emergency where they need an urgent response from you, they can call you.
- If you think you’ll get bored without your phone to turn to, think of ways you can fill your time instead. Read a book or listen to music when you’re travelling on public transport or waiting around. You could also make better use of your time learning a new skill or doing some exercise.
- In social situations, only use your phone if you’re sharing something with the people you’re with – looking up information or posting a social media post that includes your friends.
- Don’t check your phone when you’re on a date, or with someone you’re meant to be spending one to one time with. Focus on whoever you are with and give them your full attention.
- Be fully present and start to appreciate being in the ‘here and now’. Take notice of what’s going on around you, connecting with real people in the real world.