What’s more addictive: sex or your phone? They both have the capacity to deliver a shot of pleasure-boosting chemicals to the brain (and nether regions), so it might be a tough pick.
But for some, the answer is clear. One in six millennials (16%) say they would rather give up sex than part with their smartphone – more than any other age group.
The survey of 2000 people, by insurance provider, insurance2go, aimed to find out how many people prioritise gadgets over other parts of their lives.
Notably, it’s not just millennials who are willing to give up romance for tech. In fact, Gen Z (that’s 18-24-year-olds) are happy to sacrifice date nights (whether or not sex is on the cards) with their significant other if it means keeping hold of their phone – with more than one in five (21%) willing to do so.
More women would choose their phones over sex, too – though that might say more about the sex they’re having – with 16% stating they would rather keep their phones than get intimate with a partner, compared to 11% of men.
Across the UK, Manchester residents are most likely to give up sex before their smartphone, with nearly one in five (18%) admitting they would do so, but only 9% of those living in Edinburgh are willing to sacrifice it. However, more than one in five (22%) are willing to give up a date nights to keep scrolling.
This is all pretty understandable, says relationship expert, Martina Mercer. “It’s disheartening to discover that some millennials would prefer their smartphone over a physical date, but sadly it’s not too surprising,” she says.
“Millennials have had unlimited 24/7 access to social media and the internet for their entire adult life. Asking some to ignore it is akin to asking them not to breathe.”
10 things Brits would give up before their phones
2. Going to the gym (29%)
6. Streaming services (18%)
7. Takeaways and watching sport (both 17%)
Many young people have experienced “rollercoasters of emotions as they’ve enjoyed the thrill of the chase in a secure setting and taking that into the real world can seem like a huge risk,” adds Mercer. “It requires a lot more effort, physically and mentally, while giving opportunity for rejection and failure.
“In addition to this, many use social media to stay connected, to feel a part of a group, to validate their thoughts and feelings. Cutting this off can cause people to feel isolated.”
So, which would you rather give up: sex, dates or your precious phone?