Apple iPhone Users Really Suffer from Separation Anxiety

SHAFAQNA – When someone forgets their iPhone at home, it can be akin to forgetting their child. Yes, it is that serious. A study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication discusses The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology. The digital age is upon society and its impact is creating studies that open the door to the dependency levels consumers are facing. For the researchers, they noted while technology was studied upon, there was a missing link of information; what happened when people stepped away from their iPhone. The results were surprising.

The researchers gathered 136 students, 117 were iPhone users. The participants were advised they had to complete a simple two word word search puzzle.

That should be simple, right? Not really. The study began with the researchers explaining to participants the study consisted of a new blood pressure cuff while performing the word search. Participants agreed, and soon had their blood pressure taken intermittently while they worked. The participants kept their phone with them at that time, until the second crossword test was provided. At that time researchers advised their phones were creating “signal interference” with the pressure cuff, and they would have to place the participants’ iPhones in another part of the room. Participants were advised due to the nature of their study they could not get up for any reason.

The researchers quietly disabled silent mode and placed the phones within the view of the participants. Then they called the iPhones from another location about three minutes into the study. At the fourth minute they collected blood pressure numbers to review response.

Of the 117 iPhone users, 40 were selected for a final experiment on anxiety. The study notes although users were strictly informed not to leave their seat for any reason, an iPhone user went to answer her phone during the study.

The researchers noted a significant increase of anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure levels when the phones were removed from the users possession. Additionally, concentration faltered during the second crossword puzzle. Participants were advised to complete a survey about the study after the first crossword and the second. The second showed a spike in responses to the study being “unpleasant.”

The researchers hope this study will open a path for future studies on separation anxiety and how society responds. For details on the metrics of the tech study, click here to review the research in its entirety.

Study Source
Provider: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Clayton, Russell B., Leshner, Glenn., Almond, Anthony
The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
J Comput-Mediat Comm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Article last modified: January 10th, 2015 by Angelina Bouc


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