The Korea Herald


Is your smartphone bad for your relationship?


Published : March 31, 2011 - 11:32

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(iPhone 4 /Yonhap News) (iPhone 4 /Yonhap News)

Smartphones, with more than 10 millions users in South Korea, are changing the dating culture of people in their 20s and 30s, a survey conducted by marriage consulting agency Duo showed.

Duo asked 294 unmarried people aged between 20 and 39 years old how smartphones affected their relationship with their boyfriend or girlfriend.

A whopping 79.6 percent of those surveyed said smartphones affected their relationship in some way.

The three best advantages of smartphones for their relationships listed were: saving on phone bills by using free texting services, at 41.5 percent; greater accessibility to information on dating places such as restaurants, at 29.7 percent; exchanging messages whenever and wherever, at 20.8 percent.

“Free texting services or phone calls definitely save phone fees and make it easier for young couples to exchange messages or make calls,” said 25-year-old college student Choi Seung-jae.

“Dating has become convenient as information on good restaurants and to discount coupons becomes more accessible,” said 27-year-old office worker Lee Bo-ram.

However, smartphones can cause problems in relationships as well.

Of those surveyed, 37.7 percent said that face-to face contact, hugs and kisses decreased; 30.7 percent said interruptions became more frequent; and 16.5 percent said the number of online rather than traditional dates increased.

“It makes me bored and annoyed when my boyfriend keeps staring at his smartphone when we are on a date,” said 27-year-old office worker Han Hyung-young.

About half of those surveyed said they had had fights with their boyfriend or girlfriend because of smartphones.

Twitter or Facebook was the main offender for 44.5 percent of respondents. About 32.8 percent had fights when their boyfriend or girlfriend became obsessed with their smartphone, and 14.1 percent said spending money on applications and mobile accessories was the reason for fights.

About 4.7 percent had had a fight over their boyfriend or girlfriend stalking their ex.

“It is possible that your girlfriend can find out what you have been doing by reading your posts on Twitter or Facebook which you definitely don’t want her to know,” said 30-year-old office worker Choi Hee-jung.

“I’ve heard that a couple got in trouble when a girlfriend found out her boyfriend was flirting with girls on ‘Who’s Here.’”

“Who’s Here” is an application which enables you to make contact with people nearby.

“We need to think about what’s missing in our daily lives flooded with communications -- whether we are neglecting our loved ones,” said a source at Duo.

By Lee Woo-young (

<한글 기사> 

‘스마트폰 시대’…온라인데이트↑ㆍ스킨십↓

미혼남녀 절반 “스마트폰 때문에 싸운 적 있다”

사용자가 1천만명을 넘어설 정도로 대중화한 스 마트폰이 젊은 남녀의 연애 풍속도까지 바꿔놓은 것으로 나타났다.

30일 결혼정보회사 듀오가 전국의 20~39세 미혼남녀 294명을 상대로 설문조사한 결과를 보면 응답자의 79.6%가 ‘스마트폰이 연인 관계에 영향을 미친다’고 답했다.

미혼남녀들은 ‘무료 메시지 등 경제적 이익’(41.5%)과 ‘맛집 검색 등 편리해진 데이트’(29.7%)를 스마트폰의 좋은 점으로 꼽았고 20.8%는 ‘언제 어디서나 실시간으로 안부를 주고 받아서 좋다’고 말했다.

역기능도 만만치 않았다.

전체의 37.7%가 ‘대화와 스킨십이 줄었다’고 했고 ‘사생활에 대한 간섭이 많아 졌다’(30.9%), ‘온라인으로 만나는 횟수가 늘었다’(16.5%)는 불만도 많았다.

응답자의 절반이 넘는 50.4%가 ‘스마트폰 때문에 연인과 싸운 적이 있다’고 답했다.

싸운 이유는 ‘트위터 등 소셜네트워크 서비스의 과도한 사용’(44.5%), ‘스마트폰에 대한 집착’(32.8%), ‘앱 구입비 등 통신 비용 지출’(14.1%) 등이고 ‘스마트폰으로 옛 연인의 근황을 알게 돼 싸웠다’는 응답도 4.7%였다.

듀오 관계자는 “스마트폰을 통한 커뮤니케이션은 증가하고 있지만 정작 가까워야 할 사람들과 소통을 소홀히 하고 있지는 않은지 생각해봐야 할 것”이라고 말했다.