A study at the University of British Columbia claims that although smartphones make people feel closer to each other, they are very distracting from real communication during dinner with family or friends.
As part of this study, participants who used their smartphones while gathering with friends for lunch or dinner actually enjoyed this less than those who put them aside. Ryan Dwyer, lead author of the study and graduate student in the Department of Psychology, decided to talk about the results.
Phone or real conversation?
“No matter how useful smartphones are, our results confirm what many probably already suspected,” he said. - When we "sit" on the phone, spending time with loved ones, we not only make them offended, but also deprive ourselves, enjoying these moments less than if we removed the gadget away. "
The study was conducted without prior agreement with its participants. In total, 300 people took part in it, who gathered with relatives to have dinner at the restaurant. They were given a task at random: either put the smartphone on the table and use it as needed, or even remove it for the duration of the meal.
“We wanted our wards to act naturally and honestly talk about their experiences,” said Dwyer. “In order not to change the normal behavior of people in any way, we did not previously inform them that, first of all, we are interested in their phones.”
How do we feel when we are on the phone?
When the dinner came to an end, all participants were asked to answer a few questions and evaluate their enjoyment of food, communication and the atmosphere on a 7-point scale. The vast majority of participants, whose smartphones were lying on the tables, reported that they were bored, felt distracted, and the pleasure of communication was very doubtful.
Ryan Dwyer and his co-author Elizabeth Dunn, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, hope that the results of their research will help to once again confirm how strongly the use of smartphones affects human interaction.
Everything is good in moderation
“Phones have penetrated almost every area of our lives,” they say. - In any restaurant you can see couples who look at their phones, and not in the eyes of each other. We wanted to understand whether using the phone during social interactions affects the benefits we receive from them. And this is true: the smartphone really prevents us from enjoying the simple joys of life. ”
The study also says that if you really need your phone, it's okay to answer an important call or send an urgent SMS. But when you spend time with friends and family, it makes sense to put it aside - it is in your interests.
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