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Online at dinner. Gadget device addiction, friends eating with smartphones, browsing in social networks while eating food together, table top view (Online at dinner. Gadget device addiction, friends eating with smartphones, browsing in social networks
Online at dinner. Gadget device addiction, friends eating with smartphones, browsing in social networks while eating food together, table top view (Online at dinner. Gadget device addiction, friends eating with smartphones, browsing in social networks

Want to enjoy your Christmas lunch just that little bit more? Put your phone away…

Researchers from the University of British Columbia looking at the effect of smartphones on face-to-face social interactions found that people who used their devices while out for dinner with friends and family enjoyed themselves less than those who did not.

“As useful as smartphones can be, our findings confirm what many of us likely already suspected,” says Ryan Dwyer, the study’s lead author and PhD student in the department of psychology.

“When we use our phones while we are spending time with people we care about — apart from offending them — we enjoy the experience less than we would if we put our devices away.”

For the study, the researchers asked more than 300 people to go to dinner with friends and family at a restaurant. Participants were randomly assigned to either keep their phones on the table or to put their phones away during the meal.

After the meal, they were asked a variety of questions, including how much they enjoyed the experience. When phones were present, participants felt more distracted, which reduced how much they enjoyed spending time with their friends and family the researchers found.

Participants also reported feeling slightly more boredom during the meal when their smartphones were present.

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