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Most of us are all too well aware of how the current generation of college students needs to stay connected all the time, generally via cell phone. However, we assumed there were limits to the extent of their connectedness. Now, a study conducted by University of Virginia psychology researcher Kostadin Kushlev led a study with colleagues at the University of British Columbia to better understand how people interact with technology and each other.

221 University of British Columbia students were picked at random and told to set all their notifications on and keep their phones at the ready for the first week of the experiment. They were instructed to turn notifications off and minimize interaction time with their phones the second week. That participants then reported symptoms similar to those of ADHD, even though they had not been diagnosed with it was not surprising. Either was reading that 95% had looked at their screens during social events or knowing that 70% had checked their phones while at work. What was surprising is that 10% checked their phones while having sex! Keep in mind that these students were 18 to 22 and probably in relatively new relationships. They couldn’t have been old married people who were bored with their mates. One would expect young peoples’ new sexual encounters to be so intense they couldn’t be interrupted by an earthquake, let alone a cell phone call or text message.

A British study of 1,747 people (adults of a variety of ages, one assumes) found that 62% of women and 48% of men had interrupted trysts to check their cell phones to answer a call (34%), read or reply to a text (24%), or an email (2%). 34% of those who said they had checked their phones during sex claimed their partners didn’t mind. However, only 4% used social media after pausing their assignations.  I’ll reserve comment on the quality of their sex.

Family planners can use this information to reduce pregnancies, wanted and otherwise. So can parents wanting to discourage their offspring from prematurely creating offspring of their own.

 

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