The Iphone Effect

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In Are You Fully Charged, Tom Rath tells us:

Nothing adds more value to life than close social relationships. This is why it is so important to focus on the people you are with when you are with them. In fact, a 2014 study titled ‘The iPhone Effect’ shows how the mere presence of a smartphone can ruin a conversation. In an experiment with 200 participants, researchers found that simply placing a mobile communication device on the table or having participants hold it in their hand was a detriment to their conversations. Any time the phone was visible, the quality of the conversation was rated as less fulfilling when compared with conversations that took place in the absence of mobile devices. People reported having higher levels of empathetic concern when phones were not visible. When you choose to have dedicated time with another person, such as dining, driving somewhere, or going on a walk, give that person your undivided attention. Talking on your phone, using apps, or reading a message tells others you don’t value their time as much as you could. You chose to be with them, so make it count.

Spoilers! “the mere presence of a smartphone can ruin a conversation”

In The Positive Shift, Dr. Catherine Sanderson tells us:

“researchers in another study asked students to have a ten-minute conversation in a coffee shop in Washington, DC. (Some of these students were strangers, whereas others were friends.) A researcher sat nearby and measured whether either person put a mobile device on the table, or held it in a hand, at any point during the conversation. After the couple was finished talking, each person was asked to rate the quality of their conversation. … Once again, this data provided powerful evidence that the presence of cell phones does not benefit relationships: Conversations in which either person put a device on the table or in the hand were rated as less fulfilling. Moreover, the negative effects of cell phone use were even stronger among people who were already friends.

The iPhone effect is pervasive. Let’s put our smartphones away and be present.

On the Heroic Platform, Brian Johnson tells us:

“having your phone out constantly with those you care about says one of two things: One you are an addicted rat or two you don’t care about the people on the other side of your phone.”

Yikes! We can all do better if we are intentional about it. When you get home, put your phone in a drawer, out of sight and out of mind.

Wait to pull out the phone or check notifications after your lunch meeting with a friend, family, or colleague.