Smartphones are ruining social interactions – study
MANILA, Philippines - It’s admittedly second nature for some people to pull out their phones and scroll through their social media feeds during trivial social encounters; without the slightest consideration that these interactions could be so much more meaningful if the smartphones were simply put away.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia have found people who used their devices while out for a meal with friends or family enjoyed themselves less than those who didn’t.
The researchers asked over 300 participants to go have dinner with their friends and family, randomly instructing each one to either leave their phones on the table or put their phones away while eating. Those with their phones were texted the survey questions they were required to answer; while those that have it kept away answered the same questions on pen and paper.
Completely unaware that the researchers were monitoring their smartphone use, the group with their phones out felt more distracted and bored than those who kept it away. The researchers discovered a pattern wherein participants enjoyed social interactions less if they were preoccupied using their smartphones.
Similar results were obtained from a separate study that involved more than a hundred participants being sent out survey questions five times a day for a week asking them how they were feeling and what they had been doing.
This just strengthens the assumption that these devices can potentially hinder the personal interactions people engage in everyday, which Elizabeth Dunn, senior author of the study believes is vital in finding happiness.
"This study tells us that, if you really need your phone, it's not going to kill you to use it. But there is a real and detectable benefit from putting your phone away when you're spending time with friends and family,” Dunn said.
A copy of the report in the Journal of Experiential Social Psychology is available here. – Rappler.com