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How to Keep Your Smartphone from Hurting Your Relationships – 2

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 4. Don’t let your smartphone stop you from socializing with strangers

A growing body of research suggests that even seemingly trivial interactions with strangers—like chatting with a barista or cashier—play a big role in how socially connected we feel. How might smartphones affect these interactions? Well, to the extent that we are on our smartphones instead of having casual interactions with others, we miss out on opportunities to connect.

In one study, researchers found that having a smartphone on hand led people who needed directions to primarily rely on the phone and not ask others for help. As a result of not interacting with others, the people with smartphones felt less socially connected and thus worse overall (even though they got to their destination faster). This suggests that smartphones can eliminate social interactions in small but important ways that could have long-term consequences on our lives.

After spending the last few decades hearing, “don’t talk to strangers,” we understandably feel some trepidation about talking to people we don’t know. But choosing to reach out to another human being, in many circumstances, can be extremely valuable for our well-being and theirs.

   4. Don’t let your smartphone stop you from socializing with strangers A growing body of research suggests that e...

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