Sunday, July 21, 2013

Smartphone Usage Pattern Affects Your Behavior

Smartphone Usage Affects Behavior
Smartphone Usage Affects Behavior

During an office meeting a common drill is to browse through your Facebook or Twitter timeline with your smart devise just to pass time. Throughout this little cat and mouse game you hunchback and hide your smart devise to dodge your boss eagle-eyeing your activities. During all of this, unknowingly your body posture had affected your back as well as your behavior. According to a new study by Maarten Bos and Amy Cuddy, operating a relatively large device inspires more confident behavior than working on a small one. If you’re reading this article online, what kind of a device are you using? And what does your body posture look like? Are you hunching over your smartphone screen, arms tightly at your side? Are you slumping over an iPad or laptop? Or are you stretched out comfortably in an office chair, scanning a large desktop monitor?
The answer may determine whether you'll play the wimp or the hero in your next office meeting.
The body posture characteristic in operating daily gadgets affects not only your back, but your appearance, reports a new investigational study titled iPosture: The Size of Electronic Consumer Devices Affects Our Behavior. It turns out that working on a comparatively large machine (like a desktop computer) causes users to act more emphatically than working on a small one (like an iPad or Tab).


"People are always interacting with their smartphones before a meeting begins, thinking of it as an efficient way to manage their time," says Maarten Bos, a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Business School, who co-wrote the study with HBS Associate Professor Amy Cuddy. "We wanted to study how interacting with a device affected how people behave afterward."

The study is related to previous experimental research in which Cuddy and colleagues prove the positive effects of adopting expansive body postures - hands on hips, feet on desk, and the like. Deliberately positioning the body in one of these "power poses" for just a few minutes actually affects body chemistry, increasing testosterone levels and decreasing cortisol levels. This leads to higher confidence, more willingness to take risks, and a greater sense of well-being, according to the 2010 report by Andy Yap, Cuddy and Dana Carney, "Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance."
Contractive body postures such as folded arms have shown the opposite effect, decreasing testosterone and increasing cortisol. Bos and Cuddy wondered whether there might be behavioral ramifications from using electronic devices. Looming over his colleagues at six feet, seven inches tall, Bos must contract his body more than most of us when operating a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. But many of us constrict our neck and hunch our shoulders when we use our phones. And statistics show that we use our phones a lot.

According to recent investigations Americans spend an average of 58 minutes per day on their smartphones, according to a recent report from Experian Marketing Services. Talking accounts for only 26 percent of that time. The other 73 percent is devoted to texting, e-mail, social networking, and web-surfing - in other words, activities spent hunched over a little screen. (Usage varies according to the type of smartphone: iPhone users spend an average of one hour and 15 minutes with their phones each day, with only 22 percent of that time devoted to talking.)

In the meantime, the initial lab results suggest it may be a good idea to avoid the smartphone immediately before your next big sales meeting. Texting up until the boss starts speaking may make you look busy, but it may make you act meek.
"We won't tell anyone not to interact with those devices just before doing something that requires any kind of assertiveness," Bos says. "Mostly because people won't listen: They will do it anyway. But if you realize that, 'hmm, I'm pretty quiet during this meeting,' then maybe you should pay attention to how devices impacted your body posture beforehand."

1 comment:

  1. Great points! well I agree that smartphone can really affect one's behavior and the emotional attachments driven by smartphones.