The online survey of over 1000 married individuals was commissioned by London-based family law firm Brookman last month.
Although over half of respondents said their partner had sent an email or made a work-related phone call during a holiday and over a third said their partner often takes a laptop or phone with them on holiday, almost 80 per cent felt that their partner had a good work-life balance.
However, when it came to their use of social media whilst on holiday, the results showed a very different story. Over 60 per cent said they checked social media/email at least every day whilst away, a quarter said that their partner checked emails or social media several times a day, with a further 2.6 per cent stating they were browsing more than ten times a day and 6.8 per cent saying all the time.
Over a quarter of participants also said they felt frustrated or angry that their partner wasn’t engaged, or seemed ‘distracted’ from the family whilst on holiday.
It is estimated that the average Internet user is now on social media and messaging services for more than two hours per day and the issue of being ‘physically present’, but ‘emotionally distant’ is a growing problem for couples.
In fact, technology addiction has been claimed to be as damaging as other addictions that have traditionally been considered as severely detrimental to a relationship, such as alcoholism and drug addictions. More alarmingly, excessive use of social media is now being used as grounds for divorce.
Brookman commissioned the survey to explore this area further after noticing a rise in the number of people who were including excessive use of technology in their divorce petition statements.
Senior partner, Henry Brookman, sais: “Addiction to technology is a growing problem for couples, as people spend more time in virtual relationships with friends, followers and even complete strangers.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing a rise in the number of people who consider this problem to be a contributing factor to their marriage breakdown.
“Often, by the time they turn to us, the problem has spiraled into an irreconcilable state, and divorce has become the only feasible option.”