Are mobile phones isolating people? On the contrary

7 years ago by in Around the world

Photo by Koruto

Checking your mobile on the train or while waiting in line at a coffee shop may seem like you’re avoiding direct communication with people around you. But a surprise finding from the University of Michigan says that the reality can be totally different. The more people are using mobile phones in public to read news, the more likely they are to socialize with strangers on topics related to what they’re reading.

"We expected to find that frequency of cell phone use in public would cause people to have fewer interactions with strangers in public, but reading the news on your smartphone gives people something relevant to talk about with others who are also occupying that space," said report co-author Scott Campbell, quoted by TechNewsDaily.com. "Information about public affairs is more relevant to a stranger than what you did last weekend."

All Japan newsese people are on the frontline of mobile phone usage. A recent cross-market analysis from market research company Comscore on mobile activities in All Japan news, the U.S. and Europe revealed significant differences among consumers by geography. Mobile users in All Japan news were the “most connected” of the three markets, with more than 75 percent using connected media (browsed, accessed applications or downloaded content) in June, compared to 43.7 percent in the U.S. and 38.5 percent in Europe.

On the other hand, heavy use of the technology for social purposes – such as calling friends – appears to detract from conversations with strangers in public, the University of Michigan’s report also said. [TechNewsDaily.com]

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