One in three people prefer using their smartphone to having sex

Husband while his internet addict wife is using mobile phone

Mobile app developer Delvv® released some surprising results with its recent Digital Habits Survey 2016, showcasing just how attached Americans are to their smartphones. Delvv’s Digital Habits Survey 2016 included a series of four “Would You Rather?” questions. The survey found that more than a quarter of Americans would rather give up sex than smartphones.

“All the research comparing smartphone addiction to substance abuse sparked an idea: Why don’t we ask Americans to choose between their devices and vices?” said Felice Miller Gabriel, founder and President of Delvv. “For a shocking number of Americans, smartphones now trump basic human needs like physical intimacy and food.”

Delvv’s Digital Habits Survey 2016 surveyed a sample of 355 Americans, ages 18 and above, using SurveyMonkey Audience. The “Would You Rather?” questions were one part of the 28 question survey.

Delvv’s “Would You Rather?” questions elicited the following responses:

Would You Rather…give up sexual interactions for three months or switch to a dumb phone (i.e. a phone that can call and text only; no apps, email, or internet) for three months?

  • 29% of Americans would rather give up sexual relations.
    • A higher percentage of female respondents (35%) than male respondents (21%) would give up sex.
    • Respondents who reported low anxiety and strong connections were less likely to give up sex (23% and 25% respectively).

Would You Rather…give up alcohol for one month or give up your smartphone for one week?

  • 74% of Americans would prefer to give up alcohol for one month than give up a smartphone for one week.
    • 84% of Millennials (18-29 years old) elected to give up alcohol compared to 74% of Baby Boomers (60+) and 71% of Gen Xers (30-59).
    • People with weak connections to friends and family were less likely to give up alcohol (68%) compared to people with strong connections (77%).

Would You Rather…give up sweets for a month or switch to a dumb phone for one week?

  • Americans were split between sweets and smartphones. 49% would prefer to give up sweets for one month, while 51% would prefer to trade a smartphone for a dumb phone for one week.
    • Unhappy respondents were more likely to choose their smartphone. 57% of respondents who reported low happiness gave up sweets to keep the smartphone. Only 47% of respondents who reported high happiness levels made the same decision.

Would You Rather…give up social networking for one day or fast for one day?

  • 86% of Americans would prefer to give up social networking for one day than fast for one day.
    • However, 22% of respondents who reported high anxiety levels would choose to give up food before social networking compared to just 9% of respondents with low anxiety levels.

“We were surprised to find so much consistency across generations,” said Raefer Gabriel, CEO of Delvv. “Despite the stereotype of Millennials being glued to screens, it appears that Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are equally attached to their smartphones. Psychological well-being seems to predict smartphone attachment better than age. Still, we’ve only scratched the surface.”

To view the Delvv Digital Habits Survey 2016 results, visit

About Delvv®
Delvv® is building the next generation of mobile apps to tackle information overload. Silicon Valley-based Delvv was founded in 2013 by co-founder and former Chief Scientist of, Raefer Gabriel, and consumer products executive Felice Miller Gabriel. For more information visit

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