Flashmag Digizine Edition Issue 96 August 2019 - Page 77

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his collaborators at Wayne State University in Detroit examine existing research on technoference. They propose an explanation for why humans are so drawn to their smartphones, even when the devices take us out of the moment in our close relationships. It’s because of our evolutionary history, they say.

Humans are hard-wired to connect with others, Sbarra and his colleagues argue. In the course of evolutionary history, we have relied on close relationships with small networks of family and friends for survival as individuals and as a species. These relationships were based on trust and cooperation, which is built when people disclose personal information about themselves and are responsive to others.

Smart phones and relationships

society

Whether at the supermarket, in the doctor’s office, or in bed at night, it can be tempting to pick up the device and start scrolling through social media or text messages at any moment. But anyone who has done so in the presence of a close friend, family member, or romantic partner may have left that person feeling ignored, annoyed, or even pushed away. That’s according to a growing body of research on “technoference,” or the potential interference smartphones and other technologies can have in our face-to-face social interactions.

In a review paper published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, University of Arizona psychology professor David Sbarra and

 

Flashmag August 2019 www.flashmag.net

Bruce Mars