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

Valentina Rotondi (), Luca Stanca () and Miriam, Tomasuolo

No 357, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

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.

Keywords: Smartphone; Social interactions; Subjective well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 I31 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-soc and nep-ure
Date: 2016-12-31, Revised 2016-12-31
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Journal Article: Connecting alone: Smartphone use, quality of social interactions and well-being (2017) Downloads
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