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Couples have been warned that millions of marriages are at risk as new data reveals over half of lovers prefer the company of their smartphone to their partner.
Phubbing is now predicted to become the biggest divorce trend of 2024, according to the phone experts at SellCell.
With 54% of people in relationships admitting to preferring the company of their smartphone to their partner, the phubbing phenomenon is not only causing increased conflict within relationships, but it is also impacting intimacy.
Research conducted by the experts revealed nearly three-quarters (71%) of people spend more time with their phone than their romantic partner, and 17% of women will interrupt intimacy to check their phone.
Phone addiction is a growing trend in the UK, with over half of people admitting they are addicted to their phones.
The UK already has an estimated divorce rate of 42 per cent and with phubbing on the rise there are growing concerns over the impact it will have on already fragile relationships.
Phubbing, which is when someone ignores a friend or significant other in favor of their digital device, is at an all-time high as social media consumption increases and the world turns more digital.
An alarming number (46%) of people say they spend between 5-6 hours a day on their phone, which when the average workday in the UK is 8.5 hours, doesn’t leave much quality time for relationships.
Sarah McConomy, COO of SellCell said that in today’s digital age relationships will suffer as more people choose to interact with their phone than humans.
She said: “It is shocking to see that people openly prefer the company of their mobile phone to their partner.
“For a relationship to flourish, communication, listening, and having an emotional connection is vital, but this is not possible when constantly preoccupied with mobile phones.
“Phubbing refers to the act of snubbing someone in favour of a phone which is unfortunately becoming all too common in relationships.
“Shockingly, almost 1 in 5 women have even admitted to interrupting intimacy to check their phone.
“It is only a matter of time before we start seeing phone addiction, and phubbing, translate to relationship and marriage breakdowns.”
As of 2021, there were 8.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions, compared with 740 million in 2000, and as people increasingly communicate more digitally this is only set to grow.
In an age where almost one-third of people would prefer to converse with their partner on their phone, even when they’re both at home, many are questioning whether relationships can survive the disconnect and transition to digital.
Couples are also no longer making the time to see each other with their devices at hand, with 78% of women admitting to spending more time with their phone than their partner, while 64% of men do the same.
McConomy added: “Anyone who feels like their relationship is on the rocks should consider the role technology is playing in the breakdown.
“Mobile phones play a huge part in how people communicate nowadays, but it is still important to make time to see your partner and not rely on a text or phone call.
“Over three-quarters of women, and half of men, admit to preferring to spend time with their phone than their partner, so it won’t be surprising if we start to see marriage rates plummet among tech-obsessed generations.
“While a lack of commitment and infidelity has torn marriages apart for years, phubbing is now a huge concern to relationships- so maybe reconsider buying your partner the latest iPhone for Christmas.”