Cellphone Use Is Socially Contagious, Scientists Warn

Cellphone use linked to social inclusion among young people

A recent study led by researchers at the University of Michigan reveals that cellphone use has a contagious character. People have a strong impulse to use their phone when they see a nearby individual doing so.

In an attempt to determine the influence of the cellphone among young people, scientists have led an observation on students in coffee shops and dining rooms around the campus.

The experiment lasted from January until April 2011 and while sitting at tables students were analyzed for about 20 minutes, according to Live Science.

It was noted that, in up to 24% of the given time, students used their phones and that they were more susceptible of doing this as a consequence of the mate having done the same.

“Some of this could be people being primed to check their e-mail or phone messages, but this contagious use was happening several times in a 15-minute interaction,” said researcher Daniel Kruger.

It is suspected that the phenomenon is a matter of social belonging. A quite scary idea, I would say. Did we get to the point where we need to use our phone if our partner does in order to not feel socially excluded?

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