48% Spend more Time Texting than Talking to them… What Happens When People Put Their Phones Away?by Fintechnews Singapore December 20, 2016
Stop hiding behind the screen and start listening to what your friends and family have to say. This is because spending too much time on the computer or mobile devices can cause a real threat to relationships, according to the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index report which provides a snapshot of the health of relationships in Singapore.
The research found that 28% of couples in Singapore argue because of time spent on phones and computers. In fact, spending too much time on the computer or phone is the fourth most likely source of arguments between couples, after children, money and housework.
Almost one third (32%) of those who are married or in a relationship think their partners prefer their mobile phones to being intimate. Of these, 22 per cent admit to sometimes preferring their phones to being intimate.
Ms Angela Hunter, Chief Customer Officer at Prudential Singapore, said that social media and digital technology have brought us closer yet further away from each other at the same time.
“Technology has enabled us to communicate and to connect more effectively with people around the world and around the clock. However, technology can also create greater distance between people if it is not used with discipline. For instance, we may find ourselves constantly distracted by our phones and emails that we sometimes fail to be present in the company of family and friends. We need to be conscious of how we are using technology such that it becomes an enabler and not a disruptor of our relationships,” said Ms Hunter.
The research also found that almost half of the people in Singapore (48%) spend more time texting friends than talking to them face-to-face. For those under the age of 30, the figure is higher, with 58 per cent choosing virtual over real-life interactions. In fact, 10 per cent admitted to even sending text messages to people who live in the same household.
One in three people in Singapore see technology as a barrier to deep conversations
The good news is people in Singapore are aware that undesirable technological habits could potentially hurt their relationships. While 52% of people in Singapore found that technology made meeting new friends easier, one in three (37%) believed that technology made it more difficult to have deep conversations.
84% say that they would consider having gadget-free days to improve their relationships. In fact, 28% of those surveyed say they already do so. For those who are single and unattached, 79% say they would consider reducing time spent on mobile phones in order to spend more time with the people they know.
Prudential Singapore creates opportunities for real connections and conversations
To help people in Singapore disconnect from technology and re-connect with their family, friends and colleagues, Prudential Singapore is partnering with local coffee chain Toast Box to encourage people in Singapore to replace their mobile devices with meaningful conversations.
Prudential Singapore had conducted a social experiment last month at a Toast Box outlet and found the results to be astounding. Without any devices in hand, participants were seen to be engaging more with their friends and family.
This latest initiative of Prudential Singapore is part of the insurer’s ongoing campaign to help strengthen relationships in Singapore. Earlier this year, Prudential carried out a social experiment that invited couples and family members to look quietly at each other for four minutes to help them evoke a deeper emotional connection. The social experiment generated strong community interest with more than 23 million views online and the work was recognised at the 2016 Sparks Awards for Media Excellence and Marketing Excellence Awards 2016.