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As part of the research, two studies — a field experiment in a restaurant and a survey wherein the participants were either asked to keep their phones on the table with the ringer or vibration on or to put their phones on silent and place them in a container on the table during the meal. After eating, the participants even had to fill out a questionnaire detailing their feelings of social connectedness, enjoyment, distraction and boredom, as well as the amount of phone use and what they did on their phones during the meal. The same participants were surveyed five times a day for one week and were asked to report on how they were feeling and what they had been doing in the 15 minutes before completing the survey.
The results of the experiment showed that the people reported feeling more distracted during face-to-face interactions if they had used their smartphone compared with face-to-face interactions where they had not used their smartphone. The students also said they felt less enjoyment and interest in their interaction if they had been on their phone. Co-author of the study, Elizabeth Dunn said, “The survey findings were especially notable because of the negative effects of phone use among university students, who are commonly known as digital natives. We assumed that this generation would be more adept at multi-tasking between using their phones and interacting with others, but we found out even moderate levels of phone use undermined the benefits of engaging with others.”
After this, you might want to consider not using your phone tonight at the dinner table…