Over the past few years, our society has become so technologically savvy that more and more people have turned inward toward their smartphones. We see it everywhere from people performing simple activities like walking to people performing complex activities like driving. While these are just two examples, it is clear that smartphones have caused people to become less aware, or sometimes even unaware, of their surroundings. In response to this, different opinions of the “smartphone trend” and its impact on human interaction have developed. Some argue that it is disrupting face-to-face conversations, resulting in loneliness and isolation. Others argue that it is enhancing our opportunities for learning, problem solving, decision making, and personal interaction. Some even argue that it is neither disrupting nor enhancing, but rather redefining our culture. Taking all of this into consideration, the purpose of my thesis is to analyze these three perspectives, conduct a survey, and determine the most feasible explanation. In order to do this, I will be looking at established research as well as conducting my own research. First, I will give a brief background on the introduction of smartphones, referencing statistics from the Pew Research Foundation. Then I will go into the three perspectives: how smartphones disrupt, enhance, and redefine. A majority of this information will come from the following three sources: 1) Erving Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life 2) Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age 3) Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman’s Networked Lastly, I will discuss my survey and draw my own conclusions based on my research.
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Sheridan, Elizabeth, "All the World’s a Smartphone: Changing the Stage of Human Interaction" (2018). Honors Theses - Providence Campus. 31.