Though it won’t a come as a surprise to many, a new University of Michigan publication found most people pass waiting time by using their cell phones.
The study, released Monday afternoon, is co-authored by Daniel Kruger, a research assistant professor at the University. Kruger’s study — conducted in restaurants and lobbies across Ann Arbor — found that 62 percent of people waiting for a beverage or food, at a bus stop, or in a waiting room used their cell phones to pass the time, with 55 percent of people began using their phone in less than 10 seconds.
“Some of our questions include, ‘How does usage of cell phones relate to people’s interactions in real-life social space?’ ” Kruger told Michigan News. “The best way to answer certain kinds of questions may be through observational methods.”
By using information from the service providers, Kruger found college students are on their phones up to five hours every day, but also paid attention to the social contexts in which students use their phones.
“The accuracy of self-reported cell phone usage rates has been called into question as it only moderately correlated with objective server log data,” the study reads.
According to the Michigan News release, Kruger envisions his findings as part of a bigger picture issue of the effects of cell phone use on social interactions.
“If everyone is stuck to their screens, they’re not going to be interacting with other people around them,” Kruger said. “Are people going to be losing their social skills because they just don’t interact with other people, especially strangers? It has very real implications for social cohesion and social capital at a larger societal level, if people just aren’t talking to each other.”