4 in 5 parents want their family to have a ‘digital detox’ during the holiday break

A new sutdy conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Groupon found that 86% of parents have had their child complain that they spend too much time on their phone. (Photo by McKaela Lee on Unsplash)

According to a new survey, four in five parents would be willing to go on a ‘digital detox’ to be more present with their families this holiday season.

The poll of 2,000 parents found that nearly 80% say they want a break from their devices over the holidays.

Instead of reaching for the presents on Christmas morning, 72% of parents polled say they reach for their phone instead.

The new study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Groupon, found that 86% of parents have had their child complain that they spend too much time on their phone.

In fact, more than half (53%) say they’ve missed out on an activity or bonding experience with their child because they were preoccupied with a phone or other device.

Forty-three percent say they spend more time on their phone on Christmas Day than any other typical day — with over half (51%) say they check social media more frequently during the holidays.

And the average parent polled will spend four hours a day on their devices during the holiday season — amounting to a total of 80 hours (more than three days) across all their digital devices in a single holiday season.

While it’s great to capture memories with digital devices, it’s important to soak up those memories as well. Fifty-five percent are planning a device-free holiday dinner this year.

In fact, 31% have banned phones and devices from the holiday dinner table and plan to again this upcoming holiday season.

The results showed that three in four would prefer the holidays be a social media-free occasion.

This is most likely due to the fact that 55% have had the unfortunate experience of having a family holiday dinner disrupted by a phone or other device going off.

Over eight in ten say having digital devices at the dinner table is distracting, disruptive and ruins quality family time.

In fact, 64% have had their holidays disrupted by technology because there is always one member of the family staring at their screen while everyone is together, while a further 47% say they’ve had their holiday ruined because of social media.

Results also revealed the average household is outnumbered three to one by their digital devices — as the average American household has 12 different devices in the home.

Parents are ready to change these bad habits, as 85% would like to be more ‘present’ when they are with their family during the holidays.

Other experiences and activities include: holiday concerts (41%), traveling somewhere (40%), decorating the tree (35%) and going ice skating (35%).

“Given some of the staggering stats that we found from speaking to parents, it comes as no surprise that eight in 10 are looking to take a break from their devices during the holidays,” said Groupon’s Head of Experiences Brian Fields. “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.”


  1. Movies 52%
  2. Holiday concert 41%
  3. Travel somewhere 40%
  4. Decorate the tree 35%
  5. Ice skating 35%
  6. Bake cookies 33%
  7. Museum 33%
  8. Sing Christmas carols 31%
  9. Zoo / animal park 30%
  10. Go to a holiday light show 30%


  1. To spend quality time together 53%
  2. To spend more time talking to one another 52%
  3. To be more present and engaged with my family 51%
  4. So we could do an experience/activity together as a family 50%
  5. To embrace the festive season with my family 38%


  1. Spending too much time on social media 46%
  2. Not spending enough quality time with them 46%
  3. Always being ‘too busy’ 43%
  4. Not being fully engaged with them 30%
  5. I’m no fun 13%


  1. People boasting on social media about the gifts they received 40%
  2. People boasting on social media about places they’ve traveled to 38%
  3. Having to respond to greetings from people I never hear from during the year 36%
  4. People boasting on social media about experiences they’re doing 36%
  5. The chain messages of holiday well wishes 35%
  6. Copy-paste messages on social media 34%
  7. People on their phones/devices at the dinner table 33%
  8. An excessive number of notifications 32%
  9. Loved ones being too distracted by social media 31%
  10. Presents taking too long to open because people are taking photos 30%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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