In an increasingly digital world, today’s ultra connected women have never been more emotionally detached. So say the findings of the latest global study by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the provider of Internet and mobile security, privacy and optimization to 150 million active users, which charts the changing ways women are using technology to form and manage their relationships.
The study, which questioned 4,000 women in the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Brazil, highlighted the increasing role mobile devices and social media channels play in the dating process, and suggested that online research has displaced in-person chemistry when it comes to partner evaluation. Nearly 35 per cent of women now use social media channels to check out dates ahead of time, prioritizing pictures followed by common friends and finally interests and comments.
Just as women are turning to technology to kick-start their relationships, so too have they become reliant upon it to end them. All up figures indicated that more than 50 per cent of those questioned either have or would break up with a significant other on the phone and more than a quarter have or would do so via text message.
“We all recognize that face-to-face is usually better than Facebook when it comes to relationships, but when so many of us live such busy lives it’s not surprising technology is increasingly being used as a substitute for one-on-one, in-person contact,” said John Giamatteo, COO of AVG Technologies. “What’s more telling is the extent to which women, both old and young, are now relying on technology in matters of the heart. This study suggests an increasing level of detachment, where devices serve as agents to filter potential partners and release them when women are ready to move on. On a purely abstract note, we might even consider whether mobile devices and their trusty stream of insight will become the new primary relationship.”
When it came to the different age ranges, predictably it was 18-25 year olds who were the most likely to break up with a partner using their phone (61 per cent), by posting on Facebook (19 per cent) or via sending a text message (38 per cent). That said, the older generations were not far behind, with 45 per cent of 45-54 year olds also indicating that they would or have ended a relationship using their phone. The most dramatic differences, however, arose between nationalities.
Though women in the US are the most prolific users of social media channels to screen dates, Brazilian women emerged as the most cutthroat group in the dating stakes. According to the survey, not only would 58 per cent use a phone call for a break up, but 61 per cent had cancelled dates based on information they’d discovered on social media channels. Data showed that Brazilians are also the most likely to break off a relationship over Facebook (18 per cent).
Conversely, responses indicated that the French were more traditional in their approach and the least reliant upon technology for their relationships. Fewer than 25 per cent of French women questioned look at social media channels ahead of a date, for example, and they are also the least likely to secretly read their partners’ text or email messages (18 per cent). Again, Brazilian women topped this particular category, with more than 50 per cent of respondents admitting to some form of mobile snooping.
And finally, 57 per cent of US women would rather give up sex than their mobile device for a week, which, among other things, places mobile devices rather close to the heart.
An online survey of 4,000 females was undertaken across the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Brazil. The survey was set up using Qualtrics and respondents were from Qualtrics’ online panel. Fieldwork took place in April 2013.
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About AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG)
AVG’s mission is to simplify, optimize and secure the Internet experience, providing peace of mind to a connected world. AVG’s powerful yet easy-to-use software and online services put users in control of their Internet experience. By choosing AVG’s software and services, users become part of a trusted global community that benefits from inherent network effects, mutual protection and support. AVG has grown its user base to 150 million active users as of March 31, 2013 and offers a product portfolio that targets the consumer and small business markets and includes Internet security, PC performance optimization, online backup, mobile security, identity protection and family safety software.
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