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

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  • Valentina, Rotondi
  • Luca, Stanca
  • Miriam, Tomasuolo

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentina, Rotondi & Luca, Stanca & Miriam, Tomasuolo, 2016. "Connecting Alone: Smartphone Use, Quality of Social Interactions and Well-being," Working Papers 357, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 31 Dec 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:357
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:308-325 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fulvio Castellacci & Henrik Schwabe, 2018. "Internet Use and the U-shaped relationship between Age and Well-being," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20180215, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Smartphone; Social interactions; Subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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