Connecting Alone: Smartphone Use, Quality of Social Interactions and Well-Being
22 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 3, 2017
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
JEL Classification: A12; I31; O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation