Phone Usage Impact on Communication and Social Skills

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Our group’s purpose was to uncover how electronic communication impacts the way young adults communicate in person. Our hope was to provide research on interpersonal relationships while promoting awareness of how technology impacts our ability to relate to each other. The hypothesis for this project was: if young adults prefer using technology to communicate (texting, social media, apps), then their in-person communication will be more difficult.

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Phone Usage Impact on Communication and Social Skills By: Powerpuff Girls 2.0 - Stephanie Carrier Vanessa Felix Sabrina Monzon

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Literature Review Most of the research aligned with our group’s hypothesis about the impact of cellphones have on our daily lives. The research showed cell phones to have both negative and positive influences on people and their communication skills. Interestingly it was found that females use social media more than their male peers. Barker 2018. Additionally in Wash Feilder Carey and Carey 2013 the effects of young women’s social media use on their GPA was explored. This was prompted by research that suggested women are the primary users of new social media platforms. Not only was social media a central role in the lives of college students but it further suggested that the use of social media actually occurs more on campus rather than not on campus. This study suggests that social media use negatively impacts GPA’s. Here we could conclude that one gender may be more negatively impacted due to increased use of social media apps. However the impact of cell phones does extend to both females and males but in different ways.

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Literature Review A study by Kim Milne and Bahl 2018 conducted their research in relation to mindfulness and smartphone addiction. This article explores the many ways that our cell phone addictions have begun to damage our wellbeing. It explores many facets of the addiction including the impact it has on our physical health and the tendency we have to withdraw socially due to our use of cellular communication. The study found that the more preoccupied about cell phones an individual is the more likely they are to use their phone in inappropriate settings. It also showed that hours spent on “negative smartphone activities” had a direct correlation to mental and physical health problems. The research urges phone users to be more mindful of how they use their phones as mindlessness can perpetuate the addiction cycle. Another study defined addiction as “a syndrome in which a reward-seeking behavior has become out of control” here smartphone addiction was measured by developing questions and using self-rating scales Sook-Jung Changho Cheolhan 2016. The results indicated that frequent uses of chatting SNS and game apps and watching videos on smartphones might lead to addiction among adolescents. Blair Fletcher and Gaskin 2015 found most people choose to communicate via texting or cell phone apps simply based on ease. Reasons found for the preference with texting over calling are: maximizing multitasking minimizing forethought and accommodating peers/parents.

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Literature Review In 2015 Drago suggested students had negative attitudes towards the impact of cellphones on their face-to-face interactions and on their level of communication. However the study found that a great number of students surveyed and observed how they still interact with a cellphone in their hand a majority of the time even during face-to-face interactions. The article highlighted an overwhelmingly negative attitude towards the behaviors such as using a cell phone during or instead of face-to-face interaction yet still their survey and observations showed that only 36 of the people observed were not partaking in cell phone usage during face-to-face interactions. The participants were asked if the other person’s use of cellphones during face-to-face interactions bothers them and 74 of the 100 people surveyed answered “yes”. Not only do individuals show negative attitudes towards the presence of cell phones during face-to-face interactions but there is also research that shows cell phones do impact more than attitudes. In a 2013 study Jin and Park measured cell phone use face-to-face communication loneliness and social skills. Poor social skills were related to less face-to-face communication and mobile voice communication was linked to greater loneliness. More face-to-face interactions were associated with lower levels of loneliness.

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Literature Review “The predictive level of social media addiction for life satisfaction: A study on university students” by Sahin 2017 explores the correlation between life satisfaction and cell phone/social media usage. The need for quick information answers and the ability to communicate efficiently causes problems to arise within the student’s everyday life outside of the internet. The article shows that there is a distinct correlation that the higher social media use cell phone usage and internet usage the lower the life satisfaction. The article also reports that analyzing young adult’s current social media usage is a good indicator of their future life satisfaction. However not all research is solely negative. Another article shared the idea of instant gratification in relation to cell phone use both enhances and hinders intimacy in different ways Russett Waldron 2017. Herbert 2017 conducted a study to examine the effects that frequent texting had on interpersonal communication skills and relational satisfaction. He found that there was a moderate positive relationship between interpersonal communication skills and relational satisfaction. He also found that interpersonal communication skills were a significant individual predictor of relationship satisfaction.

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Literature Review .Another study Bill Thorton 2014 found that cell phones have caused increased distraction and therefore increased the amount of time that it takes to complete a task. Just the presence of a cell phone in the room had an effect in reducing attentional capacity and performance. However the study reported that this was only when the task was more attention-ally and cognitively demanding. With a cell phone causing a break in concentration every 15 minutes it took longer for people to get back into being able to concentrate and think deeper. It states that the mere presence of a cell phone can result in attentional and performance deficits Regarding relationship satisfaction Przybylski and Netta 2012 stated that people who had casual conversations did not feel bothered by their partner’s use of a cell phone. However it did reveal that those who had more meaningful conversations while their partners used a cell phone felt lower relationship quality and lower empathy from the partner.

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Method Our participants were young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. We found this age group to be a common target for this topic in our research findings. Our participants were a blend of young adults in undergraduate studies graduate studies or not enrolled in college at all to get the widest variety of sampling. We attempted to survey individuals of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds to see if there was any clear variance. There was a total of 22 responses to our survey. Participants

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Method Materials: Throughout the entire research process our group used the online classroom platform Canvas in order to communicate and plan our project together. We also utilized email text message and/or in-person communication to each other our professor and our participants to thoroughly complete assignments relating to this research. We used the online resource Survey Monkey to create and conduct our survey. Using Survey Monkey we were able to collect data from our participants while they remained anonymous. Survey Monkey allowed us to accurately and efficiently view and analyze our data.

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Method Procedure ● To collect outside data each member of the group researched the topic and provided three to four articles of information. ● In making the survey the group worked collaboratively to create questions that would flow in a survey format. Each member contributed three to four questions that were later finalized in the survey. ● Upon completing the survey and gaining approval from the professor the survey was sent to Ritchie Fuentes the Institutional Research and Assessment Coordinator at OIRA for approval. ● The survey was approved through OIRA and distributed to chosen participants aged 18-25 by the group members via email. Each email sent to the participants included an informed consent that allowed participants to withdraw from the survey at any time. ● Once we received all 22 responses the data was analyzed by the group members through the Survey Monkey website.

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Results Our group’s purpose was to uncover how electronic communication impacts the way young adults communicate in person. The hypothesis for this project was: if young adults prefer using technology to communicate texting social media apps then their in-person communication will be more difficult. We were surprised to find that most people between the ages of 18-25 who were surveyed prefer in-person conversations than communication via cell phone. Twenty out of twenty-two individuals responded that they strongly agreed or agreed that in-person conversations were preferable over using a phone texting or using apps to communicate see Chart 1. However when asked if they believed social media was not an effective way to communicate only 5 out of 22 individuals strongly agreed or agreed see Chart 4. These two results were interesting as they seemed to contradict themselves. Most of our responses led us to believe that phones apps and texting were less preferred over in-person conversations but that they either still believed or did not have an opinion that social media is an effective communication tool. This data is relevant to our study as it shows that our results are not black and white. We anticipated a much higher response for phones being preferred and found that most of our results regarding preference or actual time spent socializing on phone rather than in-person was split down the middle see Chart 3. The exception to this was regarding whether conversations should happen in-person or via phone. In our qualitative questions we found that the most common themes that dictate whether someone used a phone texting app social media or had an in-person conversation included: the topic of conversation the proximity of the person and the depth of the relationship with the other individual.

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Results Table 1.2 Mean and Standard Deviation Strongly Agree 1 Agree 2 Neither Agree nor Disagree 3 Disagree 4 Strongly Disagree 5 Question Mean SD I prefer in person conversations more than communicating on the phone whether texting or calling. 1.82 0.733 I prefer communicating on the phone whether texting or calling more than in person. 3.59 0.91 Conversations with my friends/family are more enjoyable in-person than via text. 1.23 0.69 Communicating through text is more effective than in person. 3.95 0.79 I spend more time socializing on my phone than I do socializing in person. 2.82 1.01 I do not find social media as a useful means to communicate. 3.18 1.18 I use apps texting or calling on my phone to communicate with others more than I talk to them in person 2.77 0.92 I find nonverbal communication to be an important factor in completely understanding what someone is trying to say to me. 1.5 0.6 Table 1.2 Values for Response

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Results Chart 1: Chart 2:

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Results Chart 3: Chart 4:

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Discussion Throughout our Literature Review we see many articles pointing us to believe that the quality of life and relationship satisfaction is lessened due to cell phone usage. For example articles share about phone use and express “the impact it has on our physical health as well as the tendency we have to withdraw socially due to our use of cellular communication” Kim Milne Balh 2018. Another article shares the ideas that young adults who have access to the internet have an increased desire to access information quickly and when this is not an option it has a negative impact on their wellbeing Sahin 2017. The need for quick information answers and the ability to communicate efficiently causes problems to arise within their everyday life outside of the internet Sahin 2017. After researching multiple articles and testing our own hypothesis that phone use would hinder young adults’ ability to communicate in person we were surprised to find that the data did not support that our hypothesis.

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Discussion Many individuals reported that while they use their phones often they prefer in-person conversations. This is especially true if the conversation is surrounding a topic that they deem to be important to them. This study is limited as it had a small sample size not accurately representing the larger public. While we attempted to get a wide range of individuals it is likely that many of the participants had similar beliefs about human connection and relationship and thus the data is limited in true representation. There is a copious amount of research on this topic. However more research on this topic would allow us to gain an even deeper understanding on how phone usage impacts our ability to socially relate in-person. Our phones are impacting us in both positive and negative ways. It would be interesting to continue to understand the benefits and harms of phone usage and how they continue to influence our lives.

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References Barker V. 2018. Text you pictures: The role of group belonging race identity race and gender in older adolescents’ mobile phone use. Social Sciences 77 115. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/socsci7070115 Blair B. L. Fletcher A. C. Gaskin E. R. 2015. Cell Phone Decision Making: Adolescents’ Perceptions of How and Why They Make the Choice to Text or Call. Youth Society 473 395–411. https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X13499594 Drago E. 2015. "The Effect of Technology on Face-to-Face Communication." Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 61. Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/aid1137 Hebert C. 2017. Examining text messaging frequency interpersonal communication skills and relational satisfaction among college-age students: A correlation study. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences. ProQuest Information Learning. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirecttrueAuthTypessodbpsyhAN2016-53061-134siteehost-livescopesitecustid azusa

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References Jin B. Park N. 2013. Mobile voice communication and loneliness: Cell phone use and the social skills deficit hypothesis. New Media Society 157 1094–1111. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirecttrueAuthTypessodbpsyhAN2013-36889-006siteehost-livescopesitecustid azusa Kim K. Milne G. R. Bahl S. 2018. Smart phone addiction and mindfulness: An intergenerational comparison. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing 121 25-43. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-08-2016-0044 Russett J. Waldron L. 2017. It’s not real until It’s on facebook: A qualitative analysis of social media and digital communication among emerging adults in college. Social Sciences 63 74. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030074 Sahin C. 2017. The predictive level of social media addiction for life satisfaction: A study on university students. TOJET : The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology 164. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.patris.apu.edu/docview/1988917024accountid8459

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References Sook-Jung Lee Changho Lee Cheolhan Lee. 2016. Smartphone Addiction and Application Usage in Korean Adolescents: Effects of Mediation Strategies. Social Behavior Personality: An International Journal 449 1525–1534. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.9.1525 Thornton Bill et al. “The Mere Presence of a Cell Phone May Be Distracting.” Social Psychology vol. 45 no. 6 2014 pp. 479–488. doi:10.1027/1864-9335/a000216. Przybylski Andrew K. and Netta Weinstein. “Can You Connect with Me Now How the Presence of Mobile Communication Technology Influences Face-to-Face Conversation Quality.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships vol. 30 no. 3 2012 pp. 237–246. doi:10.1177/0265407512453827. Walsh J. L. Fielder R. L. Carey K. B. Carey M. P . 2013. Female College Students Media Use and Academic Outcomes: Results from a Longitudinal Cohort Study. Emerging adulthood Print 13 219-232.

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