Is Your Phone Ruining Your Relationships?
I read an interesting article today. It was in a psychology journal, and was very long with many aspects, but contained details of a study that made me stop and think.
The study looked at the impact of the presence of a smartphone on the quality of an interaction between two people.
It found that the mere presence of a mobile phone is enough to diminish relationship quality, compared to no device being visible during the interaction.
Now, I'm in the habit, at a pub, bar or restaurant, or even during meetings, of placing my favoured device on the table in front of me. I'm conscious of the negative impact of actually using the device during an interaction, but the impact of it's mere presence was news to me.
It seems that these devices, that allow us to connect with anyone and everyone, are a symbol that represents all those relationships. So their presence during live conversations serves as a distraction and dilution of the quality of that interaction.
Like I said, it's enough to make me think. How often does that phone sat in front of us represent a route out of the present conversation into another one, if that message tone sounds? How does it make you feel?
So from now on I'll keep my phone in my pocket, and leave it there, to see how much my relationships improve as a result.
What do you think? Do you notice it? Are you frustrated when your pal starts tapping away when you're mid flow explaining how your week went? Or are you guilty of picking up your device as soon as it goes off?
Share your views in the comments below
[BTW, the study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships in 2013 (please drop me a line if you want the web address)]