Your Smartphone Might Be Making People Hate You
When you read the headline for this post, what do you immediately think? Probably that this is another one of those iPhone versus Android stories. Well, guess what? You’re wrong. In fact, this post isn’t about whether you use an iPhone, an Android, or a BlackBerry. It has nothing to do with your smartphone‘s operating system. Or the kinds of apps you download. Or that stupid case you insist on putting on your cell phone that’s got crazy purple crystals all over it. No, this is about how people perceive you because of your smartphone and how your phone could be changing the way that you act.
A recent study done at the University of Maryland suggests that after you use your cell phone for a short period of time, there’s a good chance that you’ll engage in anti-social behavior. Specifically, you’re more likely to turn down a volunteer opportunity right after using your smartphone. You’re also less likely to donate money to charity right after using your smartphone. And, maybe most disturbing, the people who took part in the study were even prone to displaying this kind of behavior when they were simply asked to draw a picture of their smartphone, leading researchers to conclude that there’s a strong connection between the thought of a smartphone and anti-social behavior.
The U of M study isn’t the first of its kind, either. In a study that took place at Northwestern University last year, researchers found that people who use smartphones are more likely to associate with one social circle that keeps them satisfied socially. As a result, they were found to “dehumanize” other social groups and either ignore them completely or treat them less favorably than they do their normal social circle.
So, what does this all mean? Well, that you might be giving off bad vibes without even knowing it because of your smartphone. If you use yours regularly, you might want to think about giving it a break every once in awhile. Or, at the very least, you might want to consider how you treat other people a little more often when you use it. Otherwise, people might start to hate you. And it won’t be simply because you use an iPhone instead of an Android.