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Study shows 45 percent of couples argue about smartphone usage

Is a smartphone coming between you and your date?


Christina Bonnington


There’s a problem that most couples today share: a bad smartphone habit. A growing plurality of couples have significant, regular issues with how one or both parties use their devices when they’re together, and a survey of more than 13,000 adults reveals exactly how much. 

In its connected relationship survey, Intel Security found that 45 percent of couples have argued about one party’s device usage when they’re together (i.e., “Pay attention to me, not your phone”). Getting more specific, one-third of respondents felt like they were competing with their date’s phone on a first date, and even more (40 percent) feel that their partner regularly gives more attention to their phone. 

This kind of phone use isn’t without consequence. A study published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture found that individuals who were overly dependent on their smartphones, or felt their partners were overly smartphone dependent, felt less certain about their relationship. That is, they felt jealous, almost as if the phone were the “other” person in the relationship. So in a sign of the times, most couples—55 percent—have started setting rules about device usage when they’re together.

Interestingly, 30 percent of couples trust each other enough to share social media passwords with one another. (Clearly, these couples are mature enough to not prank one another with silly status updates.) It’s probably just as well, though, since 20 percent of Facebook users have reported snooping on friends or family member’s accounts when left unattended, although password sharing certainly makes things more complicated in the event of a breakup. 

For more stats on our love affair with our phones, head over to the McAfee blog

The Daily Dot