New research into Britain’s technology habits has revealed that couples spend just 59 minutes together per day on average without the presence of smartphones, laptops, TVs and tablets, with 20 per cent of us spending just 30 minutes of quality time together. Instead, Brits are choosing to spend time on Facebook (50 per cent), Whatsapp (16 per cent) and Instagram (5 per cent).
According to the study by Forest Holidays, the nation’s millennials are the worst culprits, with 48 per cent saying they spend less than an hour with their other halves, whilst a quarter spend just 30 minutes per day without technology in-hand.
Overall, two thirds (68 per cent) of us would prefer to spend more time with our partners and less time on technology, but 51 per cent of us check our phones when on the sofa together, 42 per cent check our phones in bed and one fifth admit to looking in the middle of a conversation. One in ten of us even check our phones on a date night.
When asked what Brits miss out on the most because of technological distractions, conversation (45 per cent) and going for walks together (24 per cent) came out on top.
Relationship expert and behavioural psychologist, Jo Hemmings, comments:
“Technology is divisive – every minute you’re checking your phone or tablet is another minute you’re not engaging with each other. A change of scene, such as a city, beach or forest break – creating a ‘couple bubble’ – can make the impulse to check what is going on in the outside world feel a lot less important.
More than half of us (58 percent) admit that technology affects the amount of quality time we spend with our partners, yet more than three quarters (76 per cent) of Brits have never tried a digital detox.
“Going through a digital detox together might feel strange at first, but it doesn’t take long for most couples to find that this extra time together can completely enhance their relationship. It allows more time to connect with our partners, and talk about what’s happening in each other’s days…and ultimately find a variety of other ways to spend quality time together.
“Having some time without technology has been shown to both relieve stress and ultimately make us more productive and creative. So, trial small steps in taking back control from your technology – switch off your social media notifications, put your phone onto flight mode for a couple of hours a night, or agree to having no phones in the bedroom, and you’ll soon find you’re freeing up that time you crave with your partner.”
Mark Smith, Brand Manager at Forest Holidays said:
“It’s no secret that connecting with the environment makes us more relaxed as human beings, more energised and more focused on those things in life that are more important to us. In fact, many of our guests come to Forest Holidays with the purpose of switching off and spending quality time with their loved ones. Getting away from your normal routine and spending time outdoors can discourage the need to be checking a device every few minutes – and there’s nowhere better to take that overdue country walk than in one of Britain’s amazing forests”