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Smartphones and human interaction

Just remember the music industry maxim: 'nobody with a smartphone has the authority to write you a cheque'.


With endless applications, high-speed wireless Internet access, and free messaging services, smart phones have revolutionized the way we communicate. But at what cost?

Smart phone users are 70 percent more likely than regular cellphone users to believe that their phones afford them a great deal of privacy, says AFTAU´s Dr. Eran Toch, who specializes in privacy and information systems. These users are more willing to reveal private issues in public spaces. They are also less concerned about bothering individuals who share those spaces, he says.

Dr. Tali Hatuka of TAU's Department of Geography says that smart phones create the illusion of "private bubbles" around their users in public spaces. She also believes that the design of public spaces may need to change in response to this technology, not unlike the ways in which some public areas have been designated as "smoking" and "non-smoking."

To examine how smart phones have impacted human interactions in public and private spaces, the researchers designed an in-depth survey. Nearly 150 participants, half smart phone users and half regular phone users, were questioned about how telephone use applied to their homes, public spaces, learning spaces, and transportation spaces.

While regular phone users continued to adhere to established social protocol in terms of phone use — postponing private conversations for private spaces and considering the appropriateness of cell phone use in public spaces — smart phone users adapted different social behaviors for public spaces. They were 50 percent less likely to be bothered by others using their phones in public spaces, and 20 percent less likely than regular phone users to believe that their private phone conversations were irritating to those around them, the researchers found.

According to the researchers, smart phone users were also more closely "attached" to their mobile devices. When asked how they felt when they were without their phones, the majority of smart phone owners chose negative descriptors such as "lost," "tense," or "not updated." Regular phone users were far more likely to have positive associations to being without their phones, such as feeling free or quiet.

Source: www.aftau.org

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