The technology may have granted the public the ability to communicate with thre rest of the world in a way that's not been possible; but it turns out that very technology could be making us close off from the world.  A study by the University of Maryland has found that people after using their phones are more likely to engage in behaviour that would soully benefit themselves and not others, than those who didn't, or just used Facebook instead.

The study examined this thesis via three scenarios and, which involved three control groups to either use their phone, TV or Facebook, or describe using them for a specified amount of time.  

Afterwards, they were either asked to volunteer for community service, do a word search with terms of 'selflessness' (words like their or or others), or complete a puzzle with the end result being charitable donations.  Researchers identified that the people who had talked about/actively used their phones were less willing to do community service, less likely to find the particular selfless words in the word search, and forfeited the puzzle quicker than those in the TV and Facebook control groups.  

In the conclusion to the paper, the authors say the reasoning behind this focus upon the self comes from a mobile phone evoking "feelings of social connectedness," meaning that people don't feel they necessarily require that connection towards others away from their phone.  The ties you share with people you communicate to via your phone, they say, establishes a group of people that may effect just how much a group outside of your phone matters to you.

Even though conclusions are made, this research is far from conclusive, as the paper has not been published or peer-reviewed.  But it does raise questions about a new, sort of concerning development in technology, creating an ecosystem where we diverge ourselves from the outside world and those around us, while connected to a small group of contacts.

Source: University of Maryland

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