Is cell phone use socially contagious? - New York News

Is cell phone use socially contagious?

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Here's a scenario: you're with a friend and she pulls out her cell phone to check a text. All of a sudden you feel the urge to check your phone. Sound familiar? You're not alone.

We all do it. But it turns out actual science is behind the notion that cell phone use is socially contagious.

Researchers at the University of Michigan observed pairs of people between the ages of 16 to 25 and found that people were nearly 40 percent more likely to take out a cell phone if the person they were with checked their phone.

"There's something we have called mirror neurons within our brains so when you yawn, I yawn, when you smile, I smile, when you're checking your cell phone, I'm checking my cell phone because that's part of the social interaction giving ourselves some feedback," says Dr. Jeff Gardere, a clinical psychologist.

The authors behind the study chalk up the results to two possible causes.

The first: that mimicking behavior Dr. Gardere mentioned.

The second: that by using their phone, your companion is excluding you, and you turn to your device to feel a sense of inclusion.

There is no question we're all on our cell phones probably a little bit more than we need to be. But all that texting and tweeting and posting can start to take a toll on our real life relationships.

"The downside of too much cell phone use is you are getting away from real human interaction," Gardere says. "That you're distracted so much you can't get any tasks done."

But we're not likely to put them down anytime soon. A pew research survey found that 29 percent of people said that they can't live without their cell phones.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

    Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:24:06 GMT
    More than 2,000 patients are expected to seek free dental work at an annual clinic in Connecticut.  The seventh annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
    More than 2,000 patients are expected to seek free dental work at an annual clinic in Connecticut.  The seventh annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
  • Fire at Carlstadt Post Office

    Fire at Carlstadt Post Office

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:50:47 GMT
    An overnight fire caused significant damage to a Carlstadt, N.J. post office.  It happened around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday at 331 1st Street.
    An overnight fire caused significant damage to a Carlstadt, N.J. post office.  It happened around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday at 331 1st Street.
  • Deli clerk burned in Molotov Cocktail attack

    Deli clerk burned in Molotov Cocktail attack

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:10 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:10:53 GMT
    A store clerk inside of a Brooklyn mini-mart was set ablaze when an enraged sicko threw a Molotov Cocktail into the store.  It happened just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday at the store on Fort Hamilton Parkway.The 34-year-old store clerk had his hair and coat catch fire in the attack.
    A store clerk inside of a Brooklyn mini-mart was set ablaze when an enraged sicko threw a Molotov Cocktail into the store.  It happened just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday at the store on Fort Hamilton Parkway.The 34-year-old store clerk had his hair and coat catch fire in the attack.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices