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The use of smartphones within a student household : effects on interactions and relationships between housemates

Kuijsten, N.C.M. (2017) The use of smartphones within a student household : effects on interactions and relationships between housemates.

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Abstract:Smartphones allow people to stay in contact with each other. At the same time smartphones provide distractions. Smartphone use can affect the fulfillment of interactions and relationships in different ways. This study aims to understand how people who live in a student household experience the impact of smartphone use on the interactions and relationships within their house. I conducted sixteen semi-structured interviews with individuals from eight different student households. The interviews targeted students’ experiences of smartphone usage during recurring activities and social interactions in student households. Within the broad range of opinions five themes emerged from the analyses: the balance between attention and distraction, mutual respect and disrespect, culture within the household, boundary conditions of smartphone acceptance, and coping techniques of dealing with the presence of smartphones. The results indicate that smartphones do affect student households in constructive as well as destructive ways. Overall, the participants reported a nuanced view on smartphone use. The theoretical and practical consequences are discussed in terms of expectancy (prescriptive and of the environment), psychological safety and boundary conditions within the house. The findings open up a new area of opportunities for further research on this subject, which has yet to be explored.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/73333
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