Do Cellphones Connect or Disconnect Us?
Cellphones can also be a distraction from a social standpoint. Although cellphones are known for connecting people and allow us to stay in contact when away from each other, they also can cause us to be disconnected or be unsocial with the people right in front of us. Take being in an elevator for instance, when entering an elevator with other people, they tend to avoid conversation by gluing their eyes to their cell phones and pretending to be distracted. A recent study from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business finds that cellphones may make users less socially minded. Their study involved sets of young men and women around their twenties, which were asked a couple of questions after using their cellphones for a short period of time. Their research showed that participants that were on their cellphones were less likely to volunteer for a community service project, than those in the control-group. They were also less likely to solve word problems even though they knew that if they were to get the correct answer, there would be a donation given to charity. The cellphone users low interest in others continued when they were asked to work together to draw a picture of their cellphones and then discuss how they use them. Using their knowledge from the study, the researchers stated that, "The cell phone directly evokes feelings of connectivity to others, thereby fulfilling the basic human need to belong." This leads to not wanting to connect with others on a face-to-face basis and not having the ability to understand someone else’s feelings or emotions when coming in contact with them. One part of the study showed that participants felt more connected to society when using their cellphone through social media, using apps like Facebook and Twitter. This indicates that there is a difference in feeling connections through a mobile phone, rather than talking face-to-face, which triggers cellphone users to consistently want to use their mobile devices.