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Smartphone is more valuable than sex

  • New research reveals what people would give up to keep their smartphone 

  • More than 20% of Gen Z would give up dating to keep using their phones 

  • Manchester residents are most likely to choose their smartphone over sex  

Given the choice, one in six millennials (16%) say they would rather give up sex than part with their mobile phone, more than any other age group, according to new research. 

The study, conducted by leading insurance provider, insurance2go1, surveyed 2,000 Brits to find out what they would be willing to sacrifice for their smart devices. 

Notably, it’s not just millennials who are willing to give up romance for technology. Gen Z (18-24-year-olds) are the most likely to give up date nights with their significant other if it meant being able to keep their phone, with more than one in five (21%) willing to do so.  

Interestingly, more women would choose their phones over sex, with 16% stating they would rather keep their smartphoneover being intimate with their partner, compared to just 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. With only 9% of those living in Edinburgh willing to give up sex, the Scottish capital comes as the least likely place for people to give up sex across the UK.  

Despite the fact people from Edinburgh do not entertain the thought of giving up sex to keep their mobile phone, more than one in five (22%) of them are willing to give up date nights for the same reason. 

The top 10 things Brits are more likely to give up than their smartphones: 

1. Games console (38%) 

2. Going to the gym (29%) 

3. Makeup (26%) 

4. Alcohol (23%) 

5. Playing sport (22%) 

6. Streaming services (18%) 

7. Takeaways (17%) and watching favourite sport (17%) 

8. Date nights (16%) 

9. Chocolate (15%) 

10. Sex (14%) 


At the top of the sacrificial heap is games consoles, with more than a quarter of Brits saying they would stay away from their game devices rather than be parted with their phones. Not far behind is going to the gym, then makeup and alcohol in third and fourth place, respectively. 

Given the capabilities of today’s smartphones, it may come as no surprise that, nearly a quarter of Brits in the survey said they’d be willing to give up alcohol to keep their device, with Gen Z and millennials taking the top spots. 

Speaking about the findings, Relationship Expert, Martina Mercer, commented: “It’s disheartening to discover that some millennials would prefer their smartphone over a physical date, but sadly it’s not too surprising. 

“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. Social media has formed many of their relationships, they’ve 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. 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.” 

Richard Gray, Head of Marketing and Digital at insurance2go, added: “We’ve always been curious to find out what people would be willing to give up instead of losing their mobile phone, which has become such an integral part of keeping everyone connected around the world. 

“Young adults have grown up immersed in a culture of instant gratification. The fear of missing out and of being bored is a major factor in why people rely so heavily on their smartphones. 

Smartphones deliver information instantaneously, providing a sense of constant connectedness and excitement from being the first to know someone’s news or keeping in touch with family and friends, so we certainly understand the appeal.” 

For more information about insurance2go’s mobile phone insurance options, please visit:  


Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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