Why Can’t We Resist Checking Our Smartphones in the Presence of Others?

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.

Mobile phones have become a necessity in the lives of many people, but the addicting devices are also causing lapses in social etiquette, namely the urge to pull out a smartphone in the middle of a conversation with someone.

Why? There’s not an app for that. But there is a study. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology identified three possible reasons people fidget with their smartphones in the presence of others.

The researchers found that one reason many use the phone in front of others is simply to check social media, email, or a text conversation with another person. Interruption like this would normally be considered as rudeness by the person physically present. However, they say that a quick explanation for the pause in conversation before use of the device was deemed as polite and acceptable.

The second reason people use their smartphone is to avoid conversation with another person. A person might whip out their phone to signal that they are busy or pretend they have a call to answer, although the phone is on silent. “The smartphone offers a break from face-to-face social situations,” said study first author Ida Marie Henriksen, a postdoctoral fellow.

Lastly, smartphones are brought out among others to share content, such as pictures or videos. “When you take a selfie together or show pictures of your new girlfriend or kids, or of the house you want to bid on, or the map of where you were on holiday, you’re sharing content,” notes Aksel Tjora, a professor at NTNU.

The findings were published in the journal Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.

Source: StudyFinds

Help us reach the next generation of families

Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)