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One in three Singaporeans sees technology as a barrier to deep conversations

Kareyst Lin | Dec. 16, 2016
Twenty-eight percent of couples in the republic argue because of time spent on phones and computers.

Twenty-eight percent of couples in Singapore argue because of time spent on phones and computers, according to the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index report.

In fact, spending too much time on the computer or phone is the fourth most likely source of arguments between couples. The first three are children, money, and housework, Prudential said in a press statement on 14 December 2016.

Almost one-third (32 percent) of those who are married or in a relationship think their partners prefer their mobile phones to being intimate. Of these, 22 percent admit to sometimes preferring their phones to being intimate.

"Technology can create greater distance between people if it is not used with discipline," said Angela Hunter, Chief Customer Officer at Prudential Singapore. "We need to be conscious of how we are using technology such that it becomes an enabler and not a disrupter of our relationships."

The research also found that 48 percent 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 percent choosing virtual over real-life interactions. In fact, 10 percent admitted to sending text messages to people who live in the same household.

While 52 percent of people in Singapore found that technology made meeting new friends easier, one in three (37 percent) believed that technology made it more difficult to have deep conversations.

To help people in Singapore disconnect from technology and re-connect with family and friends, Prudential Singapore is partnering with local coffee chain Toast Box to encourage people to replace their mobile devices with meaningful conversations.

From today until 22 December 2016, customers at selected Toast Box outlets will receive a S$5 Toast Box voucher when they keep their mobile phones in the Prudential phone holders displayed on the tables while having a meal or drink.


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