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We meet, propose, split up and get ghosted via mobile phones, survey finds

Company: T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s.

  • Nearly half of young people have met at least one partner online
  • One-third of young people split up via mobile phone; on the other hand, 6% of them got engaged via mobile phone
  • One-quarter experienced “ghosting”, a situation when their partner ends their relationship by simply disappearing

Mobile phones have nowadays become indispensable in work and private life. They help us with all sorts of things, enabling us to be almost permanently in touch with our surroundings and to keep abreast of events, and they have also taught us to use our time more effectively. But how do they affect romantic relationshipsand meeting people, and how has communication style changed as compared to the time when mobile phones were not yet an everyday part of life? These issues were the focus of a survey conducted for T-Mobile in September by the agency Ipsos, in which 525 respondents in the 15-35 age range[1] from the entire Czech Republic took part. 

Almost every other person uses the internet for meeting new people

The results of the survey show that nearly half of young people at least once started a romantic relationship online. While secondary-school students met somebody online only in 35% of cases, every other young working person has experience with a relationship started online. “The results correspond with the experience from my practice, as secondary-school students have more free time for direct interactions at school and in extracurricular activities and young working people are absorbed in building their careers, so they look for their life partners more often on social networks,” says relationship therapist Lucian Kantor. 

First communicate in writing for weeks and meet only later

The survey has further shown that when starting a relationship, the vast majority of people first get to know their partner better online. They either first exchange messages for several weeks (53%) or they at least write each other several times and spend more time on scheduling their first date (31%). Only 15% of young people want to first meet their new possible love interest in person and then exchange messages. Nearly 70% of young people think that the subsequent online contact should take place within 24 hours after the first date and, according to two-thirds of people, it does not matter whether the contact after the first date is made by the man or by the woman. 

Messenger, WhatsApp or call

More than half of the couples also said that at the beginning of their relationship, they were in contact with their partner more than ten times a day. One-third of teenagers then communicate with their partners more than 30 times a day, while this response was given more often by women. “The results have also shown that in a relationship, men are slightly more accustomed to using written communication via Messenger while women prefer to send a text message or call,” says Martina Kemrová, Senior Head of Corporate Communication at T-Mobile, commenting on the results of the survey, and adding: “What is also interesting is that today’s teenagers almost exclusively (83%) use Messenger for communication in a relationship and that they do not use WhatsApp at all. Among young working people, on the other hand, only one-third of couples use Messenger, while the rest equally use calls, text messages and WhatsApp,” explains Kemrová. 

Every fourth person has been ghosted at least once

People today tell their partner that they love them for the first time, flirt or split up through Messenger, by calling or by sending a text message. If a relationship lasts beyond the first date, it can easily grow into something more serious. Nearly one-third of young people have received a request for a serious relationship via mobile phone, 6% of young people have been proposed to via mobile phone and 13% have learned via mobile phone that they were expecting a baby. But mobile phones are also a channel through which we communicate less pleasant things, such as infidelity (14%) or a breakup (33%): 36% of women and 31% of men have had this experience. More than one-quarter of people have experienced “ghosting”, a situation when their partner did not tell them that they were breaking up but stopped answering their messages and calls without explanation or blocked them on social media. “Ghosting is a modern-day phenomenon, but it is also just a new form of an old practice. In the past, people in similar situations crossed to the other side of the street or asked their family or friends to tell the caller that they were not at home”, says Lucian Kantor.

[1]The respondents were divided into three age groups: 15-19 years, 20-26 years and 27-35 years.

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