Stop (using your phone) in the name of love

Stop (using your phone) in the name of love
PHOTO: The New Paper

It's no secret that many people today are spending way too much time on their phones.

With smartphones becoming more intelligent, people are becoming more dependent on them to conduct everyday activities such from updating schedules to interacting with friends and family.

A recent study by Prudential Singapore found that 28 per cent of couples in Singapore argue because of the time spent on phones and computers.

The 2016 Prudential Relationship Index, which measures the health of relationships in Singapore, also found that 32 per cent of those who are married or in a relationship think their partners prefer their mobile phones to being intimate.

The research also found that almost half of the people in Singapore spend more time texting friends than talking to them face-to-face. For those under the age of 30, the figure is higher, with 58 per cent choosing virtual over real-life interactions.

But all hope is not lost yet. According to the insurance provider's study, 84 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to set aside gadget-free days so they could work on their relationships. In fact, 28 per cent of those surveyed say they already do so.

To encourage Singaporeans to put away their phones, Prudential is working with the Toast Box chain to give away $5 vouchers to those who keep their phones in designated phone holders while dining at the cafe chain.

According to Prudential, the idea was recently tested in a social experiment which eventually showed that those who used the phone holders were able to engage more with their companions.

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Posted by Prudential Singapore on Tuesday, 13 December 2016

For those who believe that you need to be glued to your mobile to do well in your career, perhaps businesswoman Arianna Huffington can change your mind.

The Huffington Post co-founder, who is a familiar face on Forbes' annual list of the world's 100 most powerful women, has also voiced out concern over the unhealthy relationships people increasingly have with their gadgets.

So worrying is this trend that in November, Huffington launched a new device targeted at getting people to put away their phones when it is time for bed. Released by her start-up Thrive Global, the Phone Bed Charging Station is literally what it says it is - a traditional wooden bed frame with a mattress and blanket for your phone to rest and recharge in after a hard day's work.

The Phone Bed's blanket is made of microfiber on one side and satin on the other, so your phone can remain scratch-free and be cleaned. There are also velvet-lined pockets under the bed where tablets can be charged.

Photo: Thrive Global website

The US$100 (S$143) device sounds like a gimmick, but it may actually be beneficial to couples and families with young children.

According to the Phone Bed's creators, it is meant to be used outside of the bedroom - so users can remind themselves to really go to bed when they say goodnight. The description on the Thrive Global online shop also says that the device can "show children how to have a healthy relationship with technology".

Perhaps, the Phone Bed can also help rekindle relationships between couples, by allowing for less phone time and more intimacy.


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