40 percent of people more bonded to their smartphones than to their pets

STUDY – OPINION: A fascinating survey by a business called SimpleTexting confirms what we already know but in stark practical terms, and which brings it home to us how addicted to smartphones people are. Or are they an essential piece of kit in the modern world? As they say there is an unbreakable bond between human and smartphone. However, this does not apply to everyone. Certainly the older generation, people like me, are not addicted to their smartphones. Far from it actually.

SimpleTexting surveyed 1,000 smartphone owners across all 50 states of America to find out what they thought about their smartphones and what they would sacrifice if they had to, to hang onto them.

Addicted to smartphones or a necessary device for the modern era. Photo: Pexels.

Companion animals versus the smartphone

Perhaps the most shocking revelation is that 40% of respondents would prefer to be separated from their dog than their smartphone for a month. You have to suppose that that statistic also applies to cats and other companion animals. Let’s just digest it for a minute. It means that four out of ten citizens of America would give up their dog if they had to in order to keep their smartphone. Perhaps there would be a different response if it applied to more than a month. I’m sure it would. I would like to know the answer to that question. Would they have responded the same if they had to give up their dog permanently in order to hang onto their smartphone? It’s an interesting thought. On the bright side the statistic does say that 60% would prefer keeping their dog over their phone. Thank God for that. But in a strange way it does put into perspective the value people place on their pets. It is difficult to admit it but it’s not as high as it should be.


It isn’t just companion animals who would be rejected in favour of the world’s most addictive piece of technology. Forty-four percent (44%) of the participants of the survey who were millennials (adults between the ages of 22 and 38 years old – Wikipedia) would prefer to be separated for a month from their significant other (their girlfriend or boyfriend, partner or spouse) rather than their smartphone.


Alcohol is no competition to a smartphone. Seventy-two percent (72%) said that they would give up alcohol for a month in order to hang onto their smartphone if they had to. Coffee is more addictive than alcohol according to the survey because 64% would rather be separated from coffee over their smartphone. Governments should introduce a law which orders people to either stop drinking or give up their phones! This would eradicate, at a stroke, alcoholism. Just kidding.


As for the male of the human species, six out of ten of them (60%) would rather give up their smartphone if they had to, rather than give up sex for a month. Sex wins over smartphones. It is pretty well the only thing that does. I don’t know the percentage of women who would make this choice. However, we do know that 53% of overall respondents would give up their smartphone to keep having sex for a month (if they had to make a choice).


Are you like me in thinking that everybody would prefer to give up their smartphone rather than their dog if they had to? I know that smartphones are addictive to a lot of people but when push comes to shove it would be nice to know that people would prefer a sentient being who brings a lot of pleasure and companionship over a piece of technology which entertains them and allows them to network with other people. The overriding feeling that I get from the survey is that people treat pets as an accessory to life just like smartphones even if they do relate to them as family members. Around 50% of all respondents said that they’d pay up to $500 per month to keep their phones. Addiction or a necessary part of modern life?

If you’d like to see some more results please click on this link which takes you to the SimpleTexting website (note: sometimes links to external sites break over time).

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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