1. Study suggests Pokémon Go may actually promote healthier lifestyle

    July 26, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Kent State University press release:

    Today marks the one year anniversary of Pokémon GO’s worldwide release that sent crowds hiking through parks, meandering into streets and walking for miles in search of Pokémon, those cute little digital characters that appear in real locations on your smartphone.

    Capturing the little monsters isn’t just fun for the players, it might be good for their health. Too often we sit at a desk all day, spend countless hours in the car, and with a smartphone glued to our hands it is too easy to spend our free time watching videos, playing games and browsing the internet. Such sedentary behaviors cause us to sit more and exercise less.

    However, Kent State University researchers found that playing a popular physically-interactive, smartphone based game, like Pokémon GO, may actually promote exercise.

    Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., and Ellen Glickman, Ph.D., from Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services assessed the ability of the popular, physically-interactive, smartphone based video game Pokémon GO to increase walking and decrease sedentary behavior, like sitting. Over 350 college students reported their physical activity and sedentary behavior the week before they downloaded Pokémon GO, the week immediately after downloading the game, and again several weeks later.

    Results show that, relative to the week before downloading Pokémon GO, students doubled their daily walking behavior (102 percent increase) and reduced sedentary behavior by 25 percent during the first week after downloading. When comparing behavior several weeks after downloading Pokémon GO, to the week before downloading, walking and sedentary behavior was still 68 percent greater and 18 percent lower, respectively, even though frequency of game play decreased by 58 percent.

    “While the largest increases in walking and decreases in sitting occurred during the first week after downloading, when the game was new to the user, those positive effects largely persisted weeks later,” Barkley said. “It is possible that games like Pokémon GO may help people initiate a positive health behavior change, such as more daily walking and less sitting.”

    The researchers suggest that while many smartphone functions may promote sedentary activity, they are hopeful that playing physically-interactive, smartphone based video games like Pokémon GO may help promote walking and reduce sitting in college students.

    The study is published in the Games for Health Journal.


  2. Study looks at manifestations of jealousy at online infidelity

    July 24, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Springer press release:

    When men and women find social media messages indicating that their partner has been cheating on them, they show the same type of jealousy behaviour as finding offline evidence that their partner has been unfaithful. This is according to Michael Dunn and Gemma Billett of Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK, who investigated how jealousy manifests between the sexes when people find compromising messages on their partner’s social media accounts. The findings are published in Springer’s journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.

    As part of the study, 21 male and 23 female undergraduate students were shown imaginary Facebook messages in a Facebook format, revealing that their partners had been either emotionally or sexually unfaithful. Eight short messages along the lines of: “You must be my soulmate! Feel so bloody connected to you, even though we haven’t slept together,” (Emotional infidelity) and “You must be the best one-night stand I’ve ever had. Last night was out of this world sexy bum!” (Sexual infidelity) were shown to participants. The so-called “discovered” message was either composed and sent by the participant’s partner, or came from someone else. Participants had to rate how distressed they would have felt if they had come across such messages while accessing their partner’s Facebook messaging service without permission.

    Men felt more distressed when they read social media messages that revealed their partners’ sexual rather than emotional infidelity. However, women were more upset than men in response to emotional messages. The researchers also found that women were significantly more upset when a potential rival had written the message, compared to when it was composed by their own partners. For men, the opposite seemed to be true and they appeared to be more upset by imagining their partner sending rather than receiving an infidelity-revealing message. Irrespective of the contents, women overall were more upset than men when they had to imagine discovering an infidelity-related message.

    The study supports evolutionarily derived theories that hold that there are differences in what triggers jealousy among men and women, and in how they subsequently direct such feelings towards the cheating partner or the potential rival.

    According to the researchers, it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying jealousy, and how it plays out in the digital age. Real or suspected partner infidelity that causes sexual or emotional jealousy is often given as the reason for domestic abuse and violence.

    “Applying an evolutionary perspective to understanding the manifestation of jealous behaviour and how infidelity-related anger can trigger partner dissolution and domestic abuse may help counteract inevitable rises in such behaviours in an age where clandestine extra-marital relationships are facilitated by modern forms of media technology,” explains Dunn.


  3. Study identifies four categories of Facebook users

    by Ashley

    From the Brigham Young University press release:

    On an average day, 1.28 billion people check it. Monthly? Nearly 2 billion. And according to one recent estimate, the average Facebook user spends 35 minutes a day on the platform — which makes for a whole lot of daily and monthly minutes.

    In a recently published study, a trio of Brigham Young University communications professors explores why.

    “What is it about this social-media platform that has taken over the world?” asked lead author Tom Robinson. “Why are people so willing to put their lives on display? Nobody has ever really asked the question, ‘Why do you like this?'”

    Based on subject responses, the research team identified four categories of Facebook users: relationship builders, town criers, selfies and window shoppers.

    Relationship builders post, respond to others’ posts and use additional Facebook features primarily in an attempt to fortify relationships that exist beyond their virtual world. “They use it as an extension of their real life, with their family and real-life friends,” Robinson said. People in this group identified strongly with such statements as “Facebook helps me to express love to my family and lets my family express love to me.”

    Town criers, on the other hand, experience a much larger gap between their real and virtual worlds. Unconcerned with sharing photos, stories or other information about themselves, they instead “want to inform everybody about what’s going on,” Robinson said. Like town criers from days of yore, “they’re pushing out information.” They repost news stories, announce events — but may otherwise neglect their profile pages, preferring to update family and friends through alternative means.

    Selfies use Facebook to self promote. Like relationship builders, they post pictures, videos and text updates — but unlike relationship builders, they’re focused on getting attention, likes and comments. Study participants in this category identified highly with the statement “The more ‘like’ notification alarms I receive, the more I feel approved by my peers.” Selfies, said study co-author Kris Boyle, use the platform “to present an image of themselves, whether it’s accurate or not.”

    Window shoppers, like town criers, feel a sense of social obligation to be on Facebook but rarely post personal information. Unlike town criers, these users, said study co-author Clark Callahan, “want to see what other people are doing. It’s the social-media equivalent of people watching.” Window shoppers identified with such statements as “I can freely look at the Facebook profile of someone I have a crush on and know their interests and relationship status.”

    For this study, the researchers compiled a list of 48 statements identifying potential reasons people use Facebook. Subjects sorted the statements in a way that reflected their personal connection to the ideas, then rated each statement on a scale from “most like me” to “least like me.” Finally, the researchers interviewed each subject to get a deeper understanding of their rankings and ratings.

    Though previous Facebook-related research has explored users with relationship-builder and selfie characteristics, Robinson said, the town criers and window shoppers were an unexpected find. “Nobody had really talked about these users before, but when we thought about it, they both made a lot of sense.”

    Facebook users may identify to some degree with more than one category — Boyle noted that most people have at least some selfie tendencies, for example. But users typically identify more with one than others. “Everybody we’ve talked to will say, ‘I’m part of this and part of this, but I’m mostly this,'” said Robinson, who calls himself a relationship builder.

    So what’s the value in the label?

    “Social media is so ingrained in everything we do right now,” Boyle said. “And most people don’t think about why they do it, but if people can recognize their habits, that at least creates awareness.”


  4. Study looks at misappropriation of identities of famous people on Twitter

    July 22, 2017 by Ashley

    From the University of Seville press release:

    Professor Ana Mancera Rueda, from the Department of Spanish Language, Linguistics and Literary Theory at the University of Seville, has carried out research on false profiles, or ‘fakes’, of famous people on the social network Twitter and the use of language on them. The study tries to answer questions like whether the misappropriation of the identities of famous people is normal practice on Twitter, in what cases it is permitted, what effects the parody can have on the image of the celebrity and the social role of someone who is well known and to what extent the messages published by fake accounts can be seen as examples of bad manners or even verbal violence.

    Basing itself on the approaches of discourse analysis and sociocultural pragmatics, Mancera has made a linguistic study of 5,030 messages published on more than fifty Twitter profiles, all of which were parodic in nature and which were written in the guise of figures of social importance. These were grouped into different categories according to the area of the parodied subject, for example, politics, the communications media, sport, royalty, etc.

    The aim of parody is to highlight the automatic style of writing that the character being imitated has in their writing, their habits and their idiolect, that is to say, their manner of expressing themselves. For that reason, “the presentations of the parodied characters in the biographies of all the analysed accounts tended to take to extremes such characteristics, as a first step towards drawing up the new identity of the subject being parodied. For example, in the profile of Naniano Rajoy constant reference is made to the digraph ‘sh’ to ridicule the president of the government’s way of speaking,” explains Mancera.

    This research has allowed for the identification of three macro-strategies used by the owners of such accounts: using activities of supposed self-image on the part of the subject being parodied; attacks on the image of internet users; and making threats against the image of third parties. With such strategies, the aim is both to damage the social image of the public figure and their private image, “which is perhaps more vulnerable, as it is closer to the ego. For example, via attacks on the target’s sexual orientation, highlighting their physical defects, or casting doubt on their mental faculties, which contribute to damaging their image of personal autonomy,” says Mancera.

    Using a game that is polyphonic in character, it is made to seem that it is the subject whose identity has been stolen who speaks to give points of view that cross the boundaries of what is politically correct, or to show a scornful attitude to the parody account’s own followers, which also threatens their own sense of affiliation.

    In addition, as Mancera has tried to show, the majority of these tweets use linguistic resources of a different type, which makes them offensive in character. Sometimes, they even go as far as verbal violence. However, Twitter’s Impersonation Policy allows the publication of these messages, with the only condition that it is made clear that they come from a parody account.

    Mancera reminds us of the statement made by the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, who stated in an article he wrote that to insult people on social networks is not freedom of expression, but a way to defame that can be used by those who feed from the fame of others. This is something which, in the opinion of the researcher, “unfortunately, has become a strategy that is seen ever more frequently. Using it, the aim isn’t only to damage the image of the public figure from the protection of anonymity, but also to try to increase the account holder’s number of followers on Twitter, using irony and verbal humour, with texts that, despite their offensive character, are marked as favourites and retweeted, that is to say, resent by thousands of users, who makes these messages defamatory and their viral nature means they reach a wide audience.”


  5. Ensuring carpoolers are compatible is key to ridesharing success

    July 13, 2017 by Ashley

    From the University of Waterloo press release:

    Ensuring that would-be carpoolers are riding with people they actually like could potentially decrease car use by nearly 60 per cent, research from a professor at the University of Waterloo has found.

    The research, recently published in Transportation Research Part C, used social media analytics, algorithms and computer simulation to match would-be carpoolers with people driving to work.

    “Usually carpooling is about just matching people depending on geographical location and time of schedule,” said Bissan Ghaddar, professor of management engineering at Waterloo and author of the study. “We wanted to include the social aspect into the equation, because it’s always awkward when there is silence in the car, especially if it’s a long commute.”

    “We believed that we really needed to look at the social aspect, and our initial data analysis agreed with us.”

    In compiling the study, Ghaddar worked with colleagues at IBM and two universities in Italy to analyze the Twitter feeds of potential carpoolers, looking for insights into their personal interests.

    They then examined the users’ social circles to see if they followed like-minded friends or sought out people with different views and fed that information into a computer algorithm designed to match carpoolers based on their geo-tagged location, time preferences as well as their personalities.

    As a final step, they simulated the impact of their matchmaking using real-world data from Rome and San Francisco. They found that if carpoolers are compatible, people’s satisfaction significantly increased and car use dropped by 57 per cent in the Rome and by 40 per cent in San Francisco.

    “This could be a system that could put a dent in gridlock, reduce pollution and make commuting to work more enjoyable,” said Ghaddar. “As a carpooler myself, I can’t overestimate the importance of compatibility.”


  6. Negative tweets can trash TV programs for other viewers

    July 9, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Penn State press release:

    Negative social media comments about a television show tend to lower enjoyment for other viewers, while positive comments may not significantly boost their enjoyment, according to researchers.

    Participants in a study who saw negative messages — in the form of tweets — flash on a television screen while watching a sitcom clip were more likely to say other people would rate the show negatively, said S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor of communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State. Participants also were more likely to agree that people would not recommend the program to their friends, he added.

    People who saw the negative tweets were less likely to enjoy the program because they thought other people didn’t like it,” said Sundar. “It was directly affected by what they thought others thought.”

    Researchers refer to this phenomenon — when people adopt beliefs and ideas because they think others hold similar beliefs — as the “bandwagon effect,” said T. Franklin Waddell, assistant professor of journalism, University of Florida, who worked with Sundar. While the bandwagon effect is typically a strong motivation for media users, the researchers were surprised at just how powerful the effect was in this study. The researchers, who released their findings in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, initially thought that other variables, such as the need to be unique and the need for affiliation, would dampen the bandwagon effect.

    “We had expected that negative comments would only affect certain types of viewers who are predisposed to follow the crowd, but surprisingly, these findings were quite consistent across a variety of different personality types,” said Waddell.

    The bandwagon effect manifests in several ways in various forms of media and social media, added Sundar.

    “The bandwagon effect could be in the form of star ratings, the number of viewers, number of views, number of shares, for example,” said Sundar. “And, as in this case, the effect could be positive or negative.”

    Waddell said that it did not take much to trigger the bandwagon effect in this study.

    “While you might only see two or three comments during a television program, this small handful of comments is enough for viewers to automatically make judgments about how viewers as a whole feel towards programming,” said Waddell. “These perceptions of group opinion, in turn, can cause viewers to hop on — or hop off — the bandwagon for a television show.”

    Because the negative comments affected participants more than the positive ones, the researchers suggest that a negativity bias may be at work.

    “The negativity bias suggests that individuals may be more likely to recall and be persuaded by negative information, rather than positive information,” said Sundar. “Positive news — when good things happen — doesn’t seem to be as memorable for us compared to when something negative happens.”

    While the researchers placed the tweets at the beginning and near the end of the clip, the timing of the comments had no significant difference on the effect, according to Sundar.

    Waddell added that, although more research is needed, the findings may help broadcasters better understand how online and social media affect traditional news and entertainment.

    “The effects we found are small, which is to be expected given that people base their enjoyment of television programming on a variety of reasons, with online comments simply being one part of the larger puzzle overall,” said Waddell. “With that said, this study does contribute to a larger body of work, which consistently shows that negative comments undercut media credibility and enjoyment, from online news to popular television shows. In short, the benefits that broadcasters might hope to achieve through social television, such as bolstering enjoyment, and the actual reality of how comments affect viewers, appear to be in competition with one another.”

    A total of 196 participants watched a 10-minute clip of the pilot episode for “30 Rock,” a popular sitcom that ran on NBC from 2006 until 2013. During the episode, groups who were exposed to positive social media messages saw tweets, such as “i LOVE this show!” and “#30rock = awesome.” Subjects in the negative condition saw messages including “i HATE this show!” and “#30rock = awful.”

    The first message appeared at the 2-minute mark of the clip and the second one flashed at about the 9-minute mark.

    Because the commenters in this study were anonymous, the researchers said that future research may look at whether identifying commenters influences the bandwagon effect.


  7. Study suggests presence of smartphone reduces cognitive capacity

    July 8, 2017 by Ashley

    From the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) press release:

    Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. That’s the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

    McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and co-authors conducted experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure, for the first time, how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even when they’re not using them.

    In one experiment, the researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. The tests were geared to measure participants’ available cognitive capacity — that is, the brain’s ability to hold and process data at any given time. Before beginning, participants were randomly instructed to place their smartphones either on the desk face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room. All participants were instructed to turn their phones to silent.

    The researchers found that participants with their phones in another room significantly outperformed those with their phones on the desk, and they also slightly outperformed those participants who had kept their phones in a pocket or bag.

    The findings suggest that the mere presence of one’s smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity and impairs cognitive functioning, even though people feel they’re giving their full attention and focus to the task at hand. “We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases,” Ward said. “Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain.”

    In another experiment, researchers looked at how a person’s self-reported smartphone dependence — or how strongly a person feels he or she needs to have a smartphone in order to get through a typical day — affected cognitive capacity. Participants performed the same series of computer-based tests as the first group and were randomly assigned to keep their smartphones either in sight on the desk face up, in a pocket or bag, or in another room. In this experiment, some participants were also instructed to turn off their phones.

    The researchers found that participants who were the most dependent on their smartphones performed worse compared with their less-dependent peers, but only when they kept their smartphones on the desk or in their pocket or bag.

    Ward and his colleagues also found that it didn’t matter whether a person’s smartphone was turned on or off, or whether it was lying face up or face down on a desk. Having a smartphone within sight or within easy reach reduces a person’s ability to focus and perform tasks because part of their brain is actively working to not pick up or use the phone.

    “It’s not that participants were distracted because they were getting notifications on their phones,” said Ward. “The mere presence of their smartphone was enough to reduce their cognitive capacity.”


  8. Most people ‘aren’t as happy as their friends’ on social media

    July 4, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Indiana University press release:

    A study led by computer scientists at Indiana University has found that people with the most connections on social media are also happier. This may cause most social media users to not only regard themselves as less popular than their friends but also less happy.

    The recently published study is essentially the first to provide scientific evidence for the feeling many people experience when they log into services like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: that everyone else looks like they’re having more fun.

    For the purposes of this study, which used publicly available data from Twitter, reciprocal followers were defined as “friends” and users with the most connections were defined as “popular.”

    “This analysis contributes to a growing body of evidence that social media may be harmful to users who ‘overindulge’ in these services since it’s nearly impossible to escape negative comparisons to their friends’ popularity and happiness,” said lead author Johan Bollen, associate professor in the IU School of Informatics and Computing, who advises people to carefully monitor and limit use of these services.

    “Given the magnitude of social media adoption across the globe, understanding the connection between social media use and happiness may well shed light on issues that affect the well-being of billions of people,” he added.

    The study builds upon a phenomenon known as the Friendship Paradox, which finds that most people on a social network have fewer connections on average than their friends, since the most popular users intersect with a higher-than-average number of social circles. The IU-led study is the first to reveal that these more popular users are also happier on average, inflating the overall happiness level of a user’s social circle — an effect the researchers dubbed the “Happiness Paradox.”

    “As far as we’re aware, it’s never been previously shown that social media users are not only less popular than their friends on average but also less happy,” Bollen said. “This study suggests that happiness is correlated with popularity, and also that the majority of people on social networks aren’t as happy as their friends due to this correlation between friendship and popularity.”

    To conduct the analysis, Bollen and colleagues randomly selected 4.8 million Twitter users, then analyzed the group for people who followed one another on the network, creating a social network of about 102,000 users with 2.3 million connections.

    The team then narrowed their focus to individuals with 15 or more “friends” on the network, after which they analyzed the sentiment of these users’ tweets, a common method in computer science and marketing to assess whether digital postings are generally positive or negative in tone. This created a group of 39,110 Twitter users. Users with higher positive sentiment were defined as “happy.”

    A statistical analysis of that final group found with high confidence that 94.3 percent of these users had fewer friends on average than their friends. Significantly, it also found that 58.5 percent of these users weren’t as happy as their friends on average.

    “In other words, a majority of users may feel that they’re less popular than their friends on average,” Bollen said. “They may also have the impression that they’re less happy than their friends on average.”

    The study also found that social media users tend to fall into two groups: happier users with happier friends and unhappier users with unhappier friends. Surprisingly, the unhappier users were still likely to be less happy than their unhappy friends, suggesting they’re more strongly affected by their friends’ unhappiness.

    “Overall, this study finds social media users may experience higher levels of social dissatisfaction and unhappiness due to negative comparison between their and their friends’ happiness and popularity,” Bollen said. “Happy social media users may think their friends are more popular and slightly happier than they are — and unhappy social media users will likely have unhappy friends who still seem happier and more popular than they are on average.”

    The paper, titled “The happiness paradox: your friends are happier than you,” appears in the European Physical Journal Data Science. Additional authors are Guangchen Ruan, doctoral researcher at IU; Bruno Gonçalves of New York University; and Ingrid van de Leemput of Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

    This study was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency.


  9. Study suggests following a friend may lead to unsafe driving behavior

    July 3, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Frontiers press release:

    A new study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology provides scientific proof to show that drivers who follow another car to a destination are more likely to drive dangerously.

    “We have found that when someone is asked to follow another vehicle, it can lead to them engaging in risky driving behavior, such as driving faster, making more erratic turns and following too close to the car in front. This is most likely caused by a fear of getting lost,” says Robert Gray, a Professor in Human Systems Engineering, who carried out this research with his team at the Arizona State University, USA.

    He continues, “This study was actually inspired by an accident analysis I was doing for a court case, where a driver was seriously injured in a ‘following a friend’ scenario. Although most people have an intuition it can be dangerous, we couldn’t find any research to back this up.”

    Professor Gray and his colleagues decided to test this intuition by recruiting students with a valid driving licence to participate in a driving simulation. Initially, they were asked to drive wherever they wanted in the simulated city to get an idea of their basic driving behaviour. This was compared to how they drove when guided by a navigation system and also to their driving behaviour when asked to ‘follow your friend in the car in front’. As well assessing their general speed, distance to the car in front and the time it took to move lanes; hazards were presented to see if their behaviour changed under different driving scenarios.

    “We observed changes in behaviour that increased the likelihood of being involved in an accident,” reveals Professor Gray.

    When drivers were ‘following a friend’, they drove faster and more erratically, closer to the car in front and made quicker lane changes, compared to how they drove under normal conditions or with a guided navigation system. In addition, when confronted with hazards in the ‘following a friend’ simulation, the drivers were more likely to cut in front of a pedestrian crossing a road and speed through traffic lights turning red.

    “It is important to note that in our simulation, the leader and other vehicles around them did not break any laws, so the follower was not just copying the risky driving behavior they saw from someone else,” says Professor Gray.

    By using a computerized driving simulation, the study was able to eliminate the contagious effect, where driver behaviour can be influenced by the traffic around them. Drivers often feel a social pressure to keep pace with other traffic and run traffic lights when other vehicles do the same.

    Professor Gray concludes by offering some advice when a friend offers to show you the way. “If you are faced with this situation, get the address from the lead driver and use a map or navigation device so you know how to get there yourself. In the future, we plan to investigate whether some knowledge about the location of the destination can get rid of these dangerous effects.”


  10. Study suggests “phone snubbing” leads to similar behaviour

    June 27, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Baylor University press release:

    People who are phone snubbed — or “phubbed” — by others are, themselves, often turning to their smartphones and social media to find acceptance, according to new research from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.

    Building on their earlier study that phubbing can damage relationships and lead to depression, researchers Meredith David, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, and James A. Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing, have found that the circle nearly completes itself as the offended parties frequently jump online to find affirmation in the likes and shares and positive comments of social media.

    Their study, “Phubbed and Alone: Phone Snubbing, Social Exclusion, and Attachment to Social Media,” is published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. The research investigates the relationship between phubbing, social media attachment, depression, anxiety and stress.

    “When an individual is phubbed, he/she feels socially excluded which leads to an increased need for attention. Instead of turning to face-to-face interaction to restore a sense of inclusion, study participants turned to social media to regain a sense of belonging,” said David, lead author of the study. “Being phubbed was also found to undermine an individual’s psychological well-being. Phubbed individuals reported higher levels of stress and depression.”

    “We’re looking online for what we’re not getting offline,” Roberts said. “It’s a vicious cycle.”

    As part of their research, David and Roberts surveyed more than 330 people across two studies. They found:

    • Nearly half of those who were phubbed reported spending more than 1.5 hours on their phone each day. In addition, one-quarter of those phubbed reported spending more than 90 minutes per day on social media sites.
    • More than one-third of phubbed individuals indicated that they turn to social media to interact with new people.
    • More than half of individuals who said they were phubbed indicated that social media enhances their life and makes their life better overall. The majority of these individuals reported that people’s comments on their social media posts makes them feel affirmed and more accepted.

    “Although the stated purpose of technology like smartphones is to help us connect with others, in this particular instance, it does not,” David said. “Ironically, the very technology that was designed to bring humans closer together, has isolated us from these very same people.”

    Roberts, who wrote the book “Too Much of a Good Thing: Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone?” said this current research and the trends it identifies are troubling.

    “Our inability to separate from technology is devastating to our well-being,” he said. “Even if it’s not an addiction, it’s a deeply engrained habit.”

    To counter the negative effects of smartphone use, the researchers advise consumers to establish “smartphone-free” zones and times; establish social contracts (and penalties) regarding phone use with friends, family and coworkers; and downloading apps that track, monitor and control smartphone use.

    “All this research into phubbing would be for naught, or only an interesting story, if not for the revelation that this type of behavior can drive others’ use of social media in an attempt to regain inclusion,” the researchers wrote. “Additionally, such behavior can also impact the well-being of affected individuals.”