Mobile phone addiction vs. your relationship. The war is on.

July 19, 2018

Mobile phone addiction

29% of us admit to checking our partner’s phone without them knowing about it, according to a recent report by Tech21, the phone protection experts. The giants of protective cases for phones and tablets have been delving into the minds of consumers aged between 18 and 54 in Australia, Sweden, the US and the UK, with a 10-minute online survey to discover what makes us tick when it comes to relationships and our phones. And we think the results from the 2,000 UK respondents are fascinating!

It’s time to come clean about who really comes first in 2018.

Warning: the following stats may give you cause for concern. Check out this super-quick video before we get down to the nitty-gritty:

A little bit about phone addiction.

OK, before we get started, it’s worth finding out a bit more about this relationship we have with our precious mobile phones. According to the survey by Tech21, 35% of people in the UK (that’s 48% of 18-34 year olds) get anxious when they’re running low on battery. And 31% are anxious if they leave their phone lying on the bar.

On top of this, 20% of people say that their mobile phone is their most precious personal item – which is hardly surprising really, when the average Brit checks their phone a whopping 30 times a day!

Trust and our mobile phones.

With an intense relationship like this, it may not be surprising that many of us have trust issues when it comes to leaving our partners in the same room as our mobile phone. When asked ‘which of the following items do you trust your partner the most with’, 70% of people said that they’re least likely to trust their partner with their phone. And men were less likely to trust their partner than women (72% vs 67%). Mmmm, got something to hide? Worried you might be fraped?

If you really are concerned about keeping your personal data private, don’t forget to update your privacy settings. On Samsung Galaxy phones, you can hide your gallery, videos, music and files with Private mode. And in Settings on any Android phone or iPhone you can limit what’s shown on the lock screen, to prevent others from seeing your notifications, messages and chats as and when they come in.

It’s me or the phone.

It might sound crazy, but some might argue that their relationship with their phone is more significant than the one they have with their partner. We’ve already discovered that us Brits check our phones an average of 30 times a day, but did you know that this compares with speaking to our partners just 23 times a day. Oops!

If that doesn’t shock you, how about this: when asked what the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is, 27% of people surveyed are more likely to check their phone as soon as they wake up, rather than speak to their partner (15%) or wake up their kids (2%). I guess there’s no risk of offending your phone with bed breath; while your phone will always wake up in the same, great mood.

And if all this doesn’t get you reassessing your priorities, you might like to know that 19% of males said that their wedding ring was their most precious possession, while 22% said it was their mobile phone. Is there any hope for romance as we head into 2019?

The ultimate break-up.

We all know that breaking up is hard to do, but did you know that people find the thought of breaking their phone totally tragic. In fact, when asked to choose from a list of scenarios that they’d find more upsetting, 50% of people said that losing or breaking their phone would be the most upsetting incident, and only 39% thought that their partner forgetting their anniversary would be the saddest scenario. Oh dear, are our human relationships really lower down in the pecking order than the relationship we have with our mobile phone? Ouch.

All is not lost however, because Tech21 is the daddy when it comes to phone protection, and they offer some of the most effective protective cases, wallets and impact shields on the market. So, your iPadiPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone will be in safe hands with one of the awesome Tech21 accessories.

Should you protect your phone from your partner?

Forget being worried about having your heart broken; it seems there are more important things at stake in your relationship. Did you know that 15% of people surveyed have had their phone broken by their partner – and if you’re aged between 18 and 34, this rises to 30%. Phew! A heated argument or a genuine accident? Don’t panic, with Three Rescue insurance on your side, it doesn’t have to be a relationship-ender. If you bought a phone with insurance from us between 7 August 20176 and 6 March 2020, you’ll have Three Rescue which protects you against malicious damage, as well as accidental damage. You’ll be back up and running with a brand-new phone asap.

Other relationships: who comes out top?

It may not just be your partner who’s bottom of the pecking order when it comes to our love of mobile phones. When surveyed, people would prefer to spend a weekend without seeing their friends than a weekend without their mobile phone. And 50% of people find the thought of losing or breaking their mobile phone the most upsetting scenario in a given list; while just 42% think that family and friends forgetting their birthday is more gutting.

Time for a digital detox?

If you feel like phone addiction is something you should be wary of, there are (ironically) productivity apps that can help you monitor how much time you’re spending online. Mobile phone addiction and internet addiction stats are not to be sniffed at; in fact, recent surveys have shown that the average user spends 25 hours a week online and that us Brits check our phones almost once every 6 ½ minutes! Help is at hand – here are some of the productivity apps on offer:

Mute (free on iOS / Android)
This one tracks screen-time and how often you pick up your phone, and logs your “detox streaks” so you can celebrate when you’ve managed to abstain.

Moment (free on iOS / Android)
This app tells you to: “Put down your phone and get back to your life”. And if you set daily limits on your usage you’ll get notifications that are designed to throw you off the device if you’re nearing your limit. Mmm, could get a little annoying…

This one is for students who should really be partying, ahem, studying. Hold aims to help you have ‘technology tamed’ by tracking how much time you’re not on your phone and converting that into points which you can redeem for actual rewards like money off cinema tickets. Nice touch.

If you’re ready to rid yourself of mobile phone addiction and improve your virtual/real life balance, it’s good to know that you can do this without ditching the devices altogether. But if none of the above works for you, and you find yourself getting all panicky when you don’t have a signal or you don’t have your phone with you, you could well be suffering from Nomophobia (the fear of being ‘out of cellular phone contact’). Is it time to go cold turkey?!

With all the depressing stats about mobile phone addiction, and how the relationship we have with our gadgets can affect our relationships in the real world, you may be evaluating your priorities right now. There’s no doubt about it, we all love our smartphones, but should it be at the detriment of our nearest and dearest? Is it time for a digital detox, or are you prepared to ditch your partner instead?