How ramping down screen time allows for more romping between the sheets
Apparently if I spent less time on my cellphone I could be having a lot more sex. Not just me you understand, all of us. So, finally, a good reason to ease up on screen time.
This important insight came from a New York Times report, which concluded that people were spending an average of 1,460 hours a year on their phones and that this equated to an awful lot of lost coupling.
The newspaper estimated that this time amounted to 16,000 lost bonks if each session lasts 5.4 minutes, not including foreplay. Even so, it is a tough call. Do I really want to swap the perfect sensuous interface and rounded bezel of an iPhone for something as flawed as a human being with no Wi-Fi connection?
Obviously, there are some methodological issues with this information. For one thing, quite a lot of the time I spend on my phone is on the journey to work and trains are far too crowded in the morning for that sort of thing. I also use the phone a fair amount at the office and, again, while the Financial Times prides itself on being a familyfriendly workplace, it’s not that family-friendly.
In any case, this theory only works if your partner is cutting down on screen use at the same time. Imagine how degrading it would be to give up Candy Crush for some special time with your object of desire only to find they are still perfectly content playing Fortnite.
Furthermore, 16,000 extra spins a year under the covers is essentially 44 additional sessions of lovemaking each day. Now, I don’t wish to cast doubt on my own status as a testosterone-fuelled love machine, but while that figure may seem enticing in your teens, by the time you turn 50, that’s pretty aspirational.
We do also need to consider the vital role played by phones in getting people a shot at their 16,000 bonks.
Can time on Tinder be offset against lost coupling? What about all those hopeful WhatsApp messages? Surely some of them are necessary precursors to 5.4 minutes of connubial bliss.
Of course, this number is merely for demonstration purposes. You could just cut down on phone usage and have some extra time between the sheets, but clearly it’s important to get the balance right. There are tweets to be answered and I’m still only at level 345 in Panda Pop.
There is, patently, no causal link between reduced screen time and increased romping — merely that the time is freed up and that you have to do something with your hands.
You could obviously spread the extra time you win back a little more evenly — perhaps working in the garden, going for a walk, meeting friends or reading a book.
Apparently, the 1,400 saved hours would allow you to read Marcel Proust’s À la Recherche
du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time) more than 20 times.
The broader point of what was an otherwise pointless survey is simply that we spend a lot of time on the phone. The figures amount to about a quarter of each waking day, many of them aimless, almost unthinking perusal.
I know I almost reflexively check my e-mails, a news site or Twitter every few minutes when I am not actively engaged in another pursuit. The spawn have to be prised from their devices by such measures as mealtime bans. For most of us, grabbing the phone is the default response to inactivity.
QUITE A LOT OF THE TIME I SPEND ON MY PHONE IS ON THE JOURNEY TO WORK, AND TRAINS ARE FAR TOO CROWDED IN THE MORNING FOR THAT
We do not have to plan to buy a paper or carry a book or do anything that will alleviate boredom. It is the unthinking antidote to anything that does not have our full attention, a licence to be elsewhere.
What the data really shows is just how easily we lapse into screen use and the extent to which an active decision is now required to do something else.
Personally, I still think the 16,000 extra bonks may be an ask but I might give Proust a go. /© Financial Times, 2019
Mismatch: Putting down your phone in order to have more sex only works if your partner cuts down on screen use at the same time.