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The 2016 Prudential Relationship Index reveals the impact of technology on relationships in Singapore

Prudential Singapore launches social activation to encourage real connections and conversations

Singapore, 14 December, 2016 – Stop hiding behind the screen and start listening to what your friends and family have to say. This is because spending too much time on the computer or mobile devices can cause a real threat to relationships, according to the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index report which provides a snapshot of the health of relationships in Singapore.

The research found that 28 per cent of couples in Singapore argue because of time spent on phones and computers. In fact, spending too much time on the computer or phone is the fourth most likely source of arguments between couples, after children, money and housework.

Almost one third (32 per cent) of those who are married or in a relationship think their partners prefer their mobile phones to being intimate. Of these, 22 per cent admit to sometimes preferring their phones to being intimate.

Ms Angela Hunter, Chief Customer Officer at Prudential Singapore, said that social media and digital technology have brought us closer yet further away from each other at the same time.

“Technology has enabled us to communicate and to connect more effectively with people around the world and around the clock. However, technology can also create greater distance between people if it is not used with discipline. For instance, we may find ourselves constantly distracted by our phones and emails that we sometimes fail to be present in the company of family and friends. We need to be conscious of how we are using technology such that it becomes an enabler and not a disruptor of our relationships,” said Ms Hunter.

The research also found that almost half of the people in Singapore (48 per cent) spend more time texting friends than talking to them face-to-face. For those under the age of 30, the figure is higher, with 58 per cent choosing virtual over real-life interactions. In fact, 10 per cent admitted to even sending text messages to people who live in the same household.


One in three people in Singapore see technology as a barrier to deep conversations

The good news is people in Singapore are aware that undesirable technological habits could potentially hurt their relationships. While 52 per cent of people in Singapore found that technology made meeting new friends easier, one in three (37 per cent) believed that technology made it more difficult to have deep conversations.

84 per cent say that they would consider having gadget-free days to improve their relationships. In fact, 28 per cent of those surveyed say they already do so. For those who are single and unattached, 79 per cent say they would consider reducing time spent on mobile phones in order to spend more time with the people they know.


Prudential Singapore creates opportunities for real connections and conversations

To help people in Singapore disconnect from technology and re-connect with their family, friends and colleagues, Prudential Singapore is partnering with local coffee chain Toast Box to encourage people in Singapore to replace their mobile devices with meaningful conversations.

From today until 22 December 2016, customers at selected Toast Box outlets will receive a S$5 Toast Box voucher when they keep their mobile phones in the Prudential phone holders displayed on the tables while having a meal or a drink.

Prudential Singapore had conducted a social experiment last month at a Toast Box outlet and found the results to be astounding. Without any devices in hand, participants were seen to be engaging more with their friends and family.

Video link to social experiment

This latest initiative of Prudential Singapore is part of the insurer’s ongoing campaign to help strengthen relationships in Singapore. Earlier this year, Prudential carried out a social experiment that invited couples and family members to look quietly at each other for four minutes to help them evoke a deeper emotional connection. The social experiment generated strong community interest with more than 23 million views online and the work was recognised at the 2016 Sparks Awards for Media Excellence and Marketing Excellence Awards 2016.


For more information on the Prudential Relationship Index:

Prudential Relationship Index Microsite

Download the Report
The Prudential Relationship Index report

The Prudential Relationship Index video


ABOUT the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index

The Prudential Relationship Index was developed to understand the state of personal relationships in Asia. Given the vital importance of relationships to people’s happiness, wellbeing and longevity, the Prudential Relationship Index offers deep understanding and insight into relationships: how to make them stronger, better and more rewarding. More than 5,000 interviews were conducted in 10 countries and territories in Asia. These included Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Interviews were conducted between 13 and 31 July 2016 with adults between 25 and 55 years of age. In Singapore, 500 interviews were conducted online with a representative sample of adults in the country. Respondents are residents representing approximately the top two-thirds of household incomes in Singapore.


ABOUT Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited (Prudential Singapore)

Prudential Singapore, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Prudential plc, is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore. We have been serving the financial and protection needs of Singaporeans for 85 years. Our focus is to bring well rounded financial solutions to customers through our multi-channel distribution network, with product offerings in Protection, Savings and Investment. We are one of the market leaders in Protection, Savings and Investment-linked plans with S$29.4 billion funds under management as at 30 June 2016. In 2014, we were awarded an AA Financial Strength Rating by leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

For the last 11 consecutive years, we have been awarded the Gold Award in Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands. Since 2007, we have been conferred the People Developer Award by SPRING Singapore for our efforts in training and developing employees and in 2013 and 2014, we were presented with Asia’s Employer of the Year Brand Award by the Branding Institute and the World HRD Congress. Prudential Singapore was also awarded the NTUC Plaque of Commendation (Gold) Award in 2014, and the Singapore Human Resource Institute presented the company with the Leading HR Practices in Quality Work-Life, Physical & Mental Well-Being Award in 2014 and the Leading HR Practices in Lifelong Learning Award in 2015.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Tan Ping Ping
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore
Tel: +65 6704 7033

Nora Sng/ Joy Fong
Ruderfinn Asia
Tel: +65 6336 2084+65 6336 6742


The 2016 Prudential Relationship Index involved interviews with 5000 respondents in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam between 13 and 31 July 2016. In Singapore, 500 respondents took part in the study. Ipsos, a leading research firm, conducted the survey.