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Connecting Alone: Smartphone Use, Quality of Social Interactions and Well-being

Listed author(s):
  • Valentina, Rotondi
  • Luca, Stanca
  • Miriam, Tomasuolo

This paper investigates the role played by the smartphone for the quality of social interactions and subjective well-being. We argue that the intrusiveness of the smartphone reduces the quality of face-to-face interactions and their positive impact on well-being. We test this hypothesis in a large and representative sample of Italian individuals. We find that time spent with friends is worth less, in terms of subjective well-being, for individuals who use the smartphone. This finding is robust to the use of alternative empirical specifications or instrumental variables to deal with possible endogeneity. In addition, consistent with the hypothesis that the smartphone undermines the quality of face-to-face interactions, the positive association between time spent with friends and satisfaction with friends is less strong for individuals who use the smartphone.

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File URL: http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper357.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 357.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 31 Dec 2016
Date of revision: 31 Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:357
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  1. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Surfing alone? The internet and social capital: Evidence from an unforeseeable technological mistake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 73-89.
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  4. Colombo, Emilio & Stanca, Luca, 2014. "Measuring the monetary value of social relations: A hedonic approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 77-87.
  5. Martin Binder, 2015. "Volunteering and life satisfaction: a closer look at the hypothesis that volunteering more strongly benefits the unhappy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(11), pages 874-885, July.
  6. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "The Solaria syndrome: Social capital in a growing hyper-technological economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 802-814.
  7. Bartolini, Stefano & Sarracino, Francesco, 2015. "The Dark Side of Chinese Growth: Declining Social Capital and Well-Being in Times of Economic Boom," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 333-351.
  8. Luigino Bruni & Luca Stanca, 2006. "Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness: Evidence from the World Values Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 209-225, 05.
  9. Hao Yuan & Mayank Golpelwar, 2013. "Testing Subjective Well-Being from the Perspective of Social Quality: Quantile Regression Evidence from Shanghai, China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 257-276, August.
  10. Stanca, Luca, 2009. "With or without you? Measuring the quality of relational life throughout the world," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 834-842, October.
  11. Pénard, Thierry & Poussing, Nicolas & Suire, Raphaël, 2013. "Does the Internet make people happier?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 105-116.
  12. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2014. "Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1911-1927, July.
  13. Jenny C. Aker & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 207-232, Summer.
  14. Frey, Bruno S. & Benesch, Christine & Stutzer, Alois, 2007. "Does watching TV make us happy?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 283-313, June.
  15. Leonardo Becchetti & Giovanni Trovato & David Andres Londono Bedoya, 2011. "Income, relational goods and happiness," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 273-290.
  16. Binder, Martin & Coad, Alex, 2011. "From Average Joe's happiness to Miserable Jane and Cheerful John: using quantile regressions to analyze the full subjective well-being distribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 275-290, August.
  17. Luca Stanca & Marco Gui & Marcello Gallucci, 2013. "Attracted but Unsatisfied: The Effects of Sensational Content on Television Consumption Choices," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 82-97, June.
  18. Bruni, Luigino & Stanca, Luca, 2008. "Watching alone: Relational goods, television and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 506-528, March.
  19. Victoria Ateca-Amestoy & Alexandra Aguilar & Ana Moro-Egido, 2014. "Social Interactions and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Latin America," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 527-554, June.
  20. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini, 2010. "If not only GDP, what else? Using relational goods to predict the trends of subjective well-being," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 57(2), pages 199-213, June.
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