Nov 28, 2012
Cell phones help us connect with other people wherever they may be. However, what about those who are already with us? Cell phones create an alternative outlet for your attention and thus could interfere with live social interaction.
When one person engages in an external phone conversation, either verbally or through text messages, their companion is excluded. We showed that using cell phones is contagious. When one person in a pair starts using his or her cell phone, the other person is more likely to pick theirs up. They may be feeling left out and experience a need to connect with their outside social networks. They may also be showing those around them that they have friends too.
Daniel Kruger is a social psychologist and research professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.