Most Parents Wish They Could Kick Their Device Addiction During the Holidays

Dreaming of a device-free Christmas? You're among the majority of parents, according to a new survey.

dad on phone during holidays
Photo: Jude Beck/Unsplash

Kids might be hoping to unwrap an LOL doll or a Nintendo Switch this year, but parents overwhelmingly want one thing, according to a new survey from Groupon: to take a digital detox in order to spend more time engaging with their kids. As part of the company's Rewrite the List campaign that encourages people to add at least one experience they can do with others to their holiday wish list, Groupon asked 2,000 parents about their digital device habits, and 80 percent revealed they want a digital detox.

More findings from the eye-opening survey, conducted by OnePoll:

  • Screen time beats even coffee: 72 percent of parents said that they typically check their phone as soon as they wake up on Christmas Day.
  • Kids want their parents to put their phones down: 86 percent of parents said they’ve had their child complain about spending too much time on their phone.
  • Parents are missing out on activities or bonding moments with their children: 53 percent said this has happened because they were glued to their phone or another device.
  • Social media is a frequent preoccupation: 51 percent said they check their social networks more often during the holidays.
  • Screen time skyrockets on Christmas Day: 43 percent of parents said they spend more time on their phone on Christmas Day than any other day.
  • The average parent will spend four hours a day on their devices during the holiday season. This comes out to a total of 80 hours (more than three days) across all their digital devices in a single holiday season.

Groupon’s Head of Experiences Brian Fields noted in a release on the survey that given these stats, "it comes as no surprise that eight in 10 are looking to take a break from their devices during the holidays. While devices are critical tools that we use for managing our lives and buying gifts for everyone on our list, it’s also important for parents to set aside some time over the next few weeks to make and cherish memories with their children."

Parents surveyed had plenty of ideas about what they'd like to do with their families sans their smartphones. The top activities cited:

  • Going to the movies
  • Attending a holiday concert
  • Traveling somewhere
  • Decorating the tree
  • Learning to ice skate
  • Baking cookies
  • Touring a museum
  • Singing Christmas carols
  • Visiting a zoo/aquarium
  • Attending a holiday light show

While it's challenging to shelf our devices during the holidays, perhaps more than any other time of year, Groupon's survey makes it clear: Taking a digital detox is something many families are aspiring to do—and would be pleased to see through.

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