I Love You, I Hate You: Women, Smartphones, and Social Media

Last week I came across an infographic on women and technology that I can’t seem to stop thinking about, so I thought I’d share it here with you.

Huffington Post and Real Simple teamed up to create an online poll that was answered by 3,583 women between October 7 and October 18. The poll asked questions about how smartphones and social media affect their lives.

The poll group was targeted narrowly, to be sure — most respondents were over age 30 and a little more than half had children, and given the source media (again, Huffington Post and Real Simple) we can probably assume most were middle to upper-middle class. Still, even narrow results point to broader trends, and worthwhile insights can be gleaned from trends. Plus, it was interesting to see how I compared to the data set.

Some interesting findings from the poll:

  • 74% of respondents said they are definitely not addicted to their smartphones.
  • However, 76% said they check their phones at least once an hour — half of these said they look every 15 minutes or less.
  • And 46% reported that they keep their phones beside their beds so they can check it first thing in the morning (part of me wonders if that’s also because they use their phones as alarm clocks? I certainly do).
  • Most respondents reported that social media makes them feel “connected,” “entertained,” and “informed.”
  • However, that connectivity is not without conflict and guilt. 80% reported considering taking themselves off of Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms at some point — and just over half of those have actually gone through with it.
  • As one woman reported: “I realized I was more interested in getting home to harvest my crops on FarmVille than in what my friend was telling me over lunch.” Yikes!

I’d love to see a comparison for men! In the meantime, read on, and then tell me what your relationship is like with your smartphone and social media — is it fall more on the side of hate, or the side of love?

smartphone-women-poll smartphone-poll-feature

Comments (2)

  • I have definitely witnessed a significant drop in quality of life since technology and smartphones became king. I actually found this article looking for cities in the U.S. that are mostly “unplugged” (do they even exist?) I live in Southern California and perhaps it’s extreme here, but everyone seems so engrossed in their smartphones that it appears they stopped looking at one another at some point. (Not to say that I’m not guilty–I had been doing the same until I just decided I didn’t want it any longer) When I’m out in public I have to dodge those that are texting and not watching where they are walking, not to mention all the “weavers” on the road that are doing the same. In restaurants its common to see a large percentage of patrons looking at their phones and not at those that share the table with them. I am nauseated by all the “selfies” being taken out in public. (Really? Do we need to see 100 photos of any one person?) I’d taken myself off of social media sites over a year ago because it saddened me to see that so many of those I know are glued to Facebook at all hours, and it shocks me to learn how venomous some can be toward others when hiding behind the safety of a keyboard. A large portion of my workday is devoted to web design and technology, but gardener, dog walker, construction worker….well, those all sound great right about now 😉

  • Jeannie, I hear you. I’m a staunch advocate of never looking at your phone in social situations, but over the past year or so I’ve begun to find myself slipping in public if everyone else is on their phones. Or I’ll find myself reaching for the glow of the screen if, say, my lunch companion has gone to the restroom and left me alone. It’s hard not to imitate what others are doing.

    But it would be hard for me to completely give it up what with my job being tied to social media — I’m impressed you were able to do it! In the near future I hope we develop a set of rules for appropriate phone use, but in the meantime let me know if you find that unplugged city.

    Thanks for your comment!

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