February 13, 2024

What Your Phone Habits Say About You: AT&T Teams with Therapist LizListens on the Connection Quiz

AT&T adds new benefits to Protect Advantage, so you can stop worrying about your phone and start focusing on your relationships.

Key Takeaways:

  • Just in time for Valentine’s Day, AT&T collaborates with relationship expert, LizListens, to offer insightful ways our phone habits affect our relationships – and a quiz for you to learn more about yours.
  • To help protect your relationships and devices, we've added new benefits like unlimited number of claims and $0 service fee screen repairs to our AT&T Protect Advantage plans1 - enroll now through March 15, 2024.

Updated May 1, 2024 – Results* are in and the data reveals some interesting trends. Based on our findings, 60% prefer a text over a call and 69% are anti-voice memo. Despite the non-verbal preferences there is one plot twist: 88% are placing their phones face down at the dinner table suggesting many are doing their best to avoid distraction during IRL moments.

Not everything was definitive and views on screen time had quiz takers split with a little more than half doing their best to stay present while others fall victim to doomscrolling. And when it comes to our devices, 45% of us are cool with the one we have, but the majority can't resist the allure of the latest tech. Whether your phone is old or new, could app categorization reflect whether your Type A or Type B? Our results found 60% prefer a tidy digital space, while the remaining 40% let their apps roam free.

From a clear preference for text-based communication to the unexpected respect for real-life interactions, we're seeing interesting patterns. But one thing is clear - we're all trying to find our unique balance in this increasingly digital world.

Communication Style

  • Read receipts: 31% have them on
  • Text or call: 60% prefer a text over a call
  • Response time: 29% wait to text back
  • Voice memos: 69% are anti-voice memo


  • Screen time: 54% try to be present
  • DND: 56% will ignore and reach out anyway
  • Dinner table: 88% put their phone face down
  • Notifications: 25% let them accumulate

Phone Maintenance

  • Device upgrades: 55% want the latest device
  • Screen condition: 18% have a crack
  • Battery level: 17% are in the red


  • Ringer volume: 76% have their phone on silent
  • Wallpaper: 21% have a generic background
  • Organization: 60% categorize apps into folders

Ever wondered if leaving your phone screen-side up on the table might be sending the wrong message? Or if your battery constantly being in the red says something about your personality? Elizabeth Earnshaw (@LizListens), LMFT, CGT, says yes.  For the official month of love, we’ve teamed with her to breakdown how phone behaviors affect our relationships.

Elizabeth Earnshaw, also known as LizListens, smiling

“Phone behavior is often overlooked in relationship building, but it plays a significant role in how we connect and communicate with our friends, colleagues and romantic partners,” says LizListens. "With more than half of Americans admitting to being ‘mobile phone addicts,’ we are rarely without our devices. Yet studies show that too much mobile phone use reduces relationship satisfaction, expresses disrespect and disregard of other people, and even reduces empathy, trust, and connection with others.”

We put the quiz to the test with influencer, Tisha Alyn and her S.O. and the results were spot on:

Take the Connection Quiz for yourself to reveal your phone habits and use these AT&T and LizListens approved hacks to protect and strengthen your relationships:

  1. Set boundaries with your apps: Delete distracting apps and turn off notifications for everything except what’s most important. Every time you look at something that pops up on your screen, it serves as a distraction from the person in front of you which can make them feel disregarded or uncared for.
  2. Stop Phubbing: Our devices keep us connected, but they shouldn’t take precedence over the people we're with IRL. LizListens says “phubbing is when we snub people by our phone use habits and it’s connected to lower quality social interactions.” Consider placing your phone on silent or in another room when talking with your partner.
  3. Phone Maintenance: How you take care of your phone can reflect your personality. Keeping your phone clean, free of cracks and always charged shows consideration and responsibility. Don’t let expensive screen repairs or a failing battery take a toll on your relationships - AT&T Protect Advantage can help.
  4. Communicate your communications style: Some of us text back ASAP while others aren’t as connected to their messaging apps, and while some love to chat on the phone, others prefer to catch up in person. LizListens recommends you let the people you love know about your texting and calling style so they know what to expect – and you know how to respect the cell phone communication styles of others.
  5. Keep arguments to IRL: LizListens says “In my office, the worst conflicts couples have often originate in a long text thread.” Low level conflicts by texts can spiral to high intensity arguments because texting reduces the likelihood of “active listening”. “Being present with another person increases empathy and understanding, so next time your text fight goes off the rails take a pause and wait until you see each other to get back into it.”

It's up to you to determine if your phone behaviors or your relationship need fixing, but when it comes to your phone - AT&T can help. We recently enhanced our Protect Advantage plans to include unlimited number of claims, plus $0 service fee screen and back glass repairs for eligible devices1, so you always look put together. That’s on top of $0 service fee battery replacements and as soon as same day replacements, so you never miss a connection.  

To learn more, visit att.com/protectadvantage and sign up today through March 15, 2024, during open enrollment.

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