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Excessive phone usage impacting daily habits and spousal relationships

Technology is a boon that can help us in many ways in both our professional and personal life. However, the overuse of technology could be detrimental. The impact it can have on our relationships could be substantial. Keeping this in mind, vivo, the innovative global smartphone brand, today announced the findings of its fourth edition of the Switch Off study titled ‘Smartphones and their impact on human relationships 2022’, focusing on the behavioural and psychological changes in relationships of married couples due to excessive use of smartphone devices. vivo conducted this study in association with Cybermedia Research (CMR) to find out the impact of excessive usage of smartphones on married couples and its effect on relationships.

The fourth edition of the ‘Switch Off’ study focuses on a unique angle of relationship dynamics, especially in the context of indiscriminate use and the all-pervasive presence of smartphones in our lives. The study sheds light on the various trends, and patterns associated with smartphone usage and analyses the changing relationship dynamics of married Indian couples along with individuals’ addiction to their smartphone devices.

Smartphones impacting spousal relationships
Interestingly, 67% of people confessed to being on their phones even while they’re spending time with their spouse however 89% of respondents said that they spend less time engaging in relaxed conversation with their spouse than possible. With excessive smartphone usage, 66% of respondents feel that their relationship with their better halves has weakened. Overindulgence in smartphones leads to psychological changes as 70% of people confess to getting irritated if their spouse interrupts them while they are engrossed in their smartphone. In fact, married couples are mostly distracted while having a conversation with their partners as 69% of respondents confessed not being attentive enough while conversing with their spouse.

The findings also show that smartphone users agree that in-person engagements are more relaxing and they spend less time in the same. 84% of respondents wish to spend more time with their spouse. People are accepting the problems and are willing to change. 88% of respondents agreed that increased usage of smartphones is hurting their relationship with their spouses. 90% of people would want to devote more leisure time to meaningful conversations with their spouses.

Smartphones impacting the lives of people
The findings of the study corroborate that smartphones have become an integral part of their daily lives as around 84% of people agree that it has become a part of their body and cannot be separated. Technological advances have allowed people to be more productive and communicate easily however, it also distracts people in multiple ways, 72% of respondents agreed that they sometimes get so absorbed in their smartphones that they lose track of their surroundings.

Excessive usage of smartphones has created a detrimental impact on the time family members spend together, 58% of people agreed that they use smartphones while eating meals whereas 60% use them in their living room. Furthermore, 86% of respondents agreed that the phone is the last thing that users see before hitting the bed. A whopping 60% of people also use smartphones while sitting with family instead of having momentous conversations.

Commenting on the launch of the study, Yogendra Sriramula, Head Brand Strategy, vivo India, said, “The significance of a smartphone in today’s life is undisputed however excessive usage remains an area that the users need to be cautious of. As a responsible brand, we aim to underline the importance of spending time with our loved ones, for that is the true meaning of leisure time. vivo’s fourth edition of the ‘switch off’ report aims to raise awareness, especially among married couples to help them maintain a healthy relationship with their loved ones while reaping the benefits of the technology.”

Some of the key findings of the study are as below:

Smartphone’s impact on spousal relationship: Impacting meaningful relationships

  • On average, 4.7 hours are spent on a smartphone per day by respondents and this is similar across husbands and wives
  • 73% of respondents accept that their spouse complained about their overindulgence on the phone instead of spending time with him/her
  • The study reveals that 70% of people get irritated when their spouse asks for something while they are immersed in their smartphones
  • 88% of respondents agreed that increased usage of smartphones is hurting their relationship with their spouse
  • 72% of people sometimes get immersed in their smartphone that they lose track of their surroundings
  • 84% of partners wish to spend more quality time with their spouse
  • As per the study, 66% of people feel that excessive usage of smartphone has weakened their relationship with their spouse.
  • 69% of respondents feel occasionally distracted by their smartphone, or not attentive enough to their spouse at times
  • 68% of partners have felt guilty at some point in time for being distracted by their phone while spending time with their spouse
  • On one hand 67% of people confessed to being on their phones even while they’re spending time with their spouse whereas 89% of respondents said that they spend less time engaging in relaxed conversation with their spouse than possible

Benefits Mobile phones

  • Smartphones are helping 60% of people stay connected with loved ones
  • 59% of polled agreed that smartphone has improved their knowledge
  • For 58%, the smartphone has increased the ease of shopping
  • 55% of people say that smartphone helps them boost their productivity

Smartphone Addiction: Obsession with smartphones moving uphill, impacting day-to-day habits

  • 86% of respondents agree that the phone is the last thing that users see before hitting the bed
  • 84% of people agree that their phones have become a part of their bodies that they cannot separate from
  • 58% of the sample size said that they use smartphones while having meals whereas 60% use them in their living room
  • A whopping 60% of people also use smartphones while sitting with family
  • On average, each smartphone user has 1.5 hours of leisure time daily. Most of them like to spend their leisure time with family however they carry their smartphone while spending time with family
  • Average amount of time spent on transactional conversation and relaxed chat is almost the same i.e., close to 2 hours
  • 89% of people feel the urge to reach out to their smartphone as soon as they get some free time
  • The study reveals that 88% of respondents spend their leisure time on the smartphone which is now a part of their behaviour
  • For 90% of people, the smartphone is the most preferred way to relax, and only 55% of people confess to spending leisure time with family.

What do couples desire: A silver lining

  • 84% of respondents wish to spend more quality time with their spouse whereas 90% would want to devote more leisure time to having meaningful conversations with their spouse
  • 89% of respondents would want to cut down leisure time spent on smartphones to strengthen their bond with their spouse and on the other hand, 91% feel spending more leisure time with their spouse will improve their contentment in life.

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