Has Our Smartphone Obsession Became the Norm?


Think about your daily life. How often do you see yourself or those around you completely absorbed by the screen of their cellphone instead of the people around you? If you put yourself in that category, thanks for your honesty. You are not alone.

As the number of people using smartphones and who are conected to the internet permanently we are increasingly creating new behavioral norms and new “social movements” as a result.

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Kent, in the UK published in Computers in Human Behavior, “phubbing” — snubbing someone in a social setting in favor of a phone — has evolved from a psychological habit and sign of technological maladjustment to an acceptable social norm. 

The researchers argued that, How-ever, little is known about what causes phubbing behavior, andhow it has become an acceptable or normative feature of moderncommunication. In the current study, we develop and test a modelexplaining these factors. Their study surveyed 251 smartphone-using participants, asking them how often they have ‘phubbed’ friends and how often they’ve experienced smartphone-related snubbing in their daily life.

Things like lack of impulse control and “anxiety about being left out of the information circuit” are some reasons why people are addict to their smartphones. But all this has become acceptable by society.

[..] bad behavior begets bad behaviors in a vicious cycle of strategic reciprocity: If you’ve ever been ignored by a friend who just can’t tear his eyes away from Twitter, you’re likely to pull out your phone and do the same.

The phubbing phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by the creative community. Perhaps the most famous reflection on the trend came from the American artist Eric Pickersgill, from North Carolina, who decided to illustrate how dependent people have become on mobile phones.


The photographer asked subjects to pose with their mobile phones and then removed them to take the image. His series, called Removed, shows people posing in every day settings with imaginary mobile phones. Meanwhile, in Brazil Caio Andrade created a project called “Cartão Zona Off” which allows people to use parking ticker inspired vouchers to request friends not use their mobile phones.

If you reflect on your own behavioral changes in the last few years, what do you  observe about  how you and those around you are creating new social norms as a result of the technologies in our hands?

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)
(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)