Despite the constant state of flux that the year of 2020 will bring, one fact remains certain: Americans are tied to their smartphones. Smartphones are the ever-seductive mistresses that we can’t live without. We check our phones 10 or more times per day, we answer text messages within a minute after receiving a text, and we panic when we can’t locate our phones. It’s the first thing we see when we wake up in the morning and the last thing we see when we go to sleep at night.
As the unbreakable bond between human and smartphone intensifies, those of us at SimpleTexting were curious to find out: which of life’s indulgences, relationships, and overall joys would the average person give up in order to keep their smartphone? How much would the average person pay to keep their smartphone for a month or even a year? We surveyed 1,000 smartphone owners across demographics and all fifty states to find out exactly which pleasures Americans would sacrifice to keep their smartphones.
Read on to see the full results.
The insights from the survey were quite telling. In terms of relationships, almost 40% of respondents would rather give up their dog for a month than their smartphones for a month, and 42% of respondents would rather be away from their significant other for a month than be away from their smartphones for a month. Astonishingly enough, more were willing to sacrifice their significant others than sacrifice their dogs; although, pandemic stress and the spring 2020 lockdowns with significant others certainly exacerbates the willingness of couples to take some time apart.
In terms of libations, 72% of respondents would rather sacrifice all alcohol for a month than sacrifice their smartphones for a month, and 64% of respondents would rather sacrifice all coffee for a month than sacrifice their smartphones for a month. Surprisingly, more are prioritizing caffeine intake over alcoholic beverages during COVID-19 based on these results.
53% of overall respondents and 60% of males specifically would rather give up their smartphone for a month than sex for a month; however, Gen Z respondents said the opposite. 56% of Gen Z digital natives would far rather give up lovemaking for a month than be parted with their cell phone for a month.
Netflix and Instagram – you’re out of here. 70% of respondents would sacrifice Netflix over their smartphones for a month, and 60% of respondents would give up all social media over their smartphones for a month. That’s a hefty claim given the average Netflix subscriber watches at least 2 hours of the streaming service everyday.
Even when asked if respondents would sacrifice all forms of entertainment (TV, music, and podcasts) for a month to keep their smartphones, 41% said yes. That’s 30-31 straight days of abstinence from shows like Ozark, Tiger King, and Stranger Things, as well as a month devoid of True Crime podcasts — what a world to live in.
To spice things up a notch, we even went as far asking smartphone owners which pleasures they would sacrifice permanently to keep their smartphones permanently. While the majority of respondents weren’t willing to give up vacations permanently to keep their smartphones, the opposite is true of giving up Amazon’s one-click buying. The majority of respondents (57%) would rather permanently stop shopping at the beloved retailers, Amazon & Target, than give up their smartphones permanently.
When asked how much they would be willing to pay to keep their smartphone for one month, 35% of respondents said between $500 & $2,000. Millennials were willing to pay more than any other generation in order to keep their smartphones for a month. In fact, Millennials were three times as likely as both Baby Boomers and Gen Z to pay $2 – $3k.
When asked how much they would be willing to pay to keep their smartphone for one year, 26% would pay $1 – $5K, 15% would pay $5-$10K, and 12% would pay $10-$15K. The average AT&T unlimited cell phone plan for one line is $75 per month or $900 per year (minus taxes & fees); therefore, 26% of respondents are willing to pay a surplus of $100 – $4,100 to keep their smartphones for a year. 15% of respondents are willing to pay a surplus of $4,100 – $9,100 and 12% of respondents are willing to pay a surplus of $9,100 – $14,100 to keep their smartphones for a year.
In summary, many are willing to risk it all in order to keep the digital devices we hold so dear to us. Luckily, most adult-aged Americans shouldn’t have to worry about threats of having their smartphones taken away. In 2020, we’ll continue to send more text messages, take more phone calls, download more mobile apps, and peruse more social media channels without the fear of intervention.