Is your Smartphone a Social Friend…or Foe?

As my sixth original post on my WordPress I’m going to share an article I read this morning regarding the social (or anti-social) outcomes that come with the frequent and constant use of the smartphone and other mobile gadgets.

Check it out here: Your smartphone could be turning you into a lousy friend – even when you’re not using it

I also suggest you to watch this brilliant TED Talk related to the matter:

If on one hand “smart technologies offer the possibility of instantaneous and continuous global communities where knowledge is shared, opinions are contributed, relationships are rekindled, expressions of support are enhanced and social movements are spawned”, on the other hand, regarding recent studies, there are more negative sides or the “smart” coin.

According to a new study released by Virginia Tech (The iPhone Effect: The Quality of In-Person Social Interactions in the Presence of Mobile Devices) – examining how “distracting digital stimuli” undermine the character and depth of our face-to-face interactions” -, your attention is divided socially even if you’re not actively looking at your phone, saying that the mere presence of a cellphone or smartphone on the table can disengage people during in-person conversations and hinder their empathy”.

The authors of the study argue that “networked technologies let us manage several loyalties – work, family, friends – at once“, but they also have a negative effect, breeding “a persistent state of ‘absent presence’ (…) a technologically mediated world of elsewhere“.

For many, digital distraction involves the “constant urge to seek out information, check for communication and direct their thoughts to other people and worlds,” the authors write. The phone becomes “representative of people’s wider social network and a portal to an immense compendium of information.” (A previous study by two of these researchers found that people checked their phones every three to five minutes, regardless of whether it rang or buzzed.)

The researchers write in the study that “individuals are more likely to miss subtle cues, facial expressions, and changes in the tone of their conversation partner’s voice, and have less eye contact”.

According to post-modern and contemporary studies these new global communities, gadgets and social medias deserve closer and deeper examination, they may even emerge at the cost or at least some sort of deficit of face-to-face interpersonal relationships.

Thanks again for reading and for following, I hope you’ve liked it and found it interesting.

Best regards,

Pedro Calado


7 thoughts on “Is your Smartphone a Social Friend…or Foe?

  1. It is really interesting how iphone use seems to increase multi-tasking. I have heard some authors theorize that modern technology can make technology users more intelligent, but also some views that attention span may be shortened as well. It seems like you covered some of that here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your feedback Chris, I’m glad you liked it, I really appreciate it, all the best to you and your Eusociality Site blog, it’s really good 🙂

      Best regards,
      Pedro Calado


    • Thank you very much for your feedback and for following my blog Zakaria 🙂

      I totally agree with you on the H2H – H2S matter, such as social scientists and investigators needed to shift/upgrade the paradigm of communities and social networks (adding “digital” to the equation), and discussing about digital communities, besides regular/common communities or groups.
      The same will eventually happen with social/digital relations and the “skills”, adding another element (of the informational and digital age) to the already existing “hard” and “soft” skills.

      Thanks again for your insight Zakaria Habib and keep up with the good work on your “Social Business” and “The Social Shift” categories, you’ve many interesting posts there 🙂

      Best regards,
      Pedro Calado

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Should Handheld Devices be Banned for Young Children? | SocioTech'nowledge

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