Our relationship with our smartphones is often more important than our relationship with the person we're with.
This is the conclusion of new research on the subject of the social impact of mobile phone usage.
Try this: Walk into a coffee shop or any restaurant and look around. Chances are, you'll see some couples sitting across from one another and not speaking, but checking their phones instead.
This is not unusual. Some 81 percent of Americans check their phones while dining out at restaurants, which means they're not looking at the people across the table from them. We neglect personal contact in favor of the virtual sort. A typical American checks his or her mobile phone 46 times per day, and those between the ages of 18 and 24 do so even more, averaging 74 looks per day.
This behavior -- giving our attention to our phone instead of our friend -- is called "phubbing," (short for "phone snubbing") and it's causing problems in real human relationships, especially those of the romantic...
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