January 11, 2016

Screens are stealing the conversation

Stop googling, let’s talk, published late September last year:

Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the conversation on topics where they won’t mind being interrupted. They don’t feel as invested in each other. Even a silent phone disconnects us.

I think this is true. If there’s a TV in the room, my eyes will be drawn to it. That, however, doesn’t mean that there’s no room for phones, or any screen really, in everyday life. Moderation is key, as with so many things.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.