9/11/2012 10:46 AM
Our phones are our connection to the news, the weather, and the lives of all our friends. But, while they are keeping us in touch with everyone else, they can make it harder for us to form bonds with people who are right in the room with us.
Researchers paired off strangers and put them in rooms together for ten minutes. The participants left their own possessions behind; on the table in the room was a book and one other object. In some cases, the object was a notebook; in others, a cell phone. Some participants were asked to tell each other about something interesting that happened to them recently. Others were asked to discuss a neutral topic, like their opinions on plastic trees. After the conversation, participants were given a survey with questions about how they felt about the conversation.
The objects in the room did not affect the feelings of connection felt by the people who discussed the neutral topic. But, all of the people who had the cell phone in the room while they had conversations about their own lives reported a lower sense of connection than those who talked in the room with a notebook.
On a first date, the mild distraction of phones that aren’t even yours can potentially reduce the level of chemistry between you and your date. If you want to maximize your chances of hitting it off, consider dates that will keep technology out of your way:
When picking restaurants, go for one where you will have the option of a small table not too close to others.
Consider active dates where a phone would be impractical, like a hike on a trail in the park. (Pick a well-traveled one on a first date for safety!)
Leave your phone in your pocket, purse, or even out in the car. Waiting two hours to see the latest cat pictures on your social network of choice can be worth it if it helps you meet someone who is right for you.