(Looks up from smartphone) … sorry, what did you say?

4 JANUARY 2018

CSU researchers are searching for participants to take part in an online survey to help answer questions about smartphone usage in social situations... is it boredom or a fear of missing out that prevents us from letting go of our phones?

Photo taken, filter applied and Instagram post uploaded, now back to the conversation. This may now be the reality of social engagement according to Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers Associate Professor Yeslam Al-Saggaf and Ms Rachel MacCulloch and they want to know why?

Professor Al-Saggaf and Ms MacCulloch are currently looking for people to participate in an online survey to assist them in their research about how often and why people use their smartphones while engaging with others.

“You can see people using their phones in so many different social situations these days. At the dinner table, amongst friends, at the movies and even in bed. Is this as a result of boredom or shortened attention spans?” asks Professor Al-Saggaf from the University’s School of Computing and Mathematics.

“A recent study by dscout has revealed that people pick up their smartphones an average of 76 times per day.

“So, we’re keen to collect information from everyday people about why they use their smartphones during social situations and how frequently they do and what kind of things they’re doing on their phones while with other people,” Professor Al-Saggaf said.

Professor Al-Saggaf was interviewed last year for similar research he had conducted about how smartphones helped connect people and were potentially, dumbing us down or desensitising us to reality.

The CSU research is hoping to answer:

-Why people use their smartphones during social interactions
-How frequently do they do it
-What apps do people use when they use their smartphones during social interactions
-With whom do they converse, and
-In what kinds of situations do they use their smartphones while conversing

The confidential survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed online by visiting: https://www.research.net/r/RBSPU

The study will build on previous research supported by the Australian Research Council and the Australian Computer Society.

Media contact: Aaron McDonnell, 0427845830

Media Note: Please contact CSU Media for interviews with Associate Professor Al-Saggaf from the CSU School of Computer and Mathematics at Wagga Wagga or Ms MacCulloch (Canberra).The study has been approved by the CSU Human Research Ethics Committee.

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