The iPhone effect: Social interactions and a constant state of “poly-consciousness”

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Excerpt from this article:

“Even when they are not in active use or buzzing, beeping, ringing, or flashing, [digital devices] are representative of people’s wider social network and a portal to an immense compendium of information,” the researchers note. “In their presence, people have the constant urge to seek out information, check for communication, and direct their thoughts to other people and worlds. Their mere presence in a socio-physical milieu, therefore, has the potential to divide consciousness between the proximate and immediate setting and the physically distant and invisible networks and contexts. The permeable and fluid pervasive computing environments of our technological society and the array of behavioral demands they create thus dramatically change the socio-physical context of face-to-face communication. In these permeable and micro-fragmented contexts, we are in a constant state of poly-consciousness in which multiple relationships and settings can be the focus of one’s attention at any given time regardless of location or context.”

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