The impact of smartphones on social behaviour and relationships

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Groarke, Hilary
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Previous research suggests that people use phones mostly as a means to enhance interpersonal closeness. The current study examined the impact of smartphones on social behaviour and relationships, investigating smartphone use, present absence, phone etiquette, face-to-face communication and computer-mediated communication. The study used internet testing with a quasi-experimental and correlational design. A snowball sample of 279 participants aged between 18 and 77 years completed self-report questionnaires: Smartphone Problematic Use Questionnaire; Face-to-face or Computer-mediated communication Questionnaire; Present Absence Scale; and Cellular Phone Etiquette Questionnaire. Results showed that smartphone use and preference for computer-mediated communication were predictors of present absence. Additionally, age was positively related to phone etiquette and preference for face-to-face communication and negatively related to smartphone use, present absence, and computer-mediated communication. Differences highlighted, included higher levels of phone use and present absence, and lower levels of phone etiquette among smartphone users, compared to standard mobile phone users. In conclusion, smartphones undoubtedly have both pervasive and negative influences over users and it would be valuable if future research focussed on the possible reasons for this.