The influence of mobile phone on face to face conversations

The influence of mobile phone on face to face conversations


The mobile phone has simplified communication over long distances. However, it has affected the quality of face-to-face communications once the people meet. This research paper explores the impact of mobile phones on quality of face-to-face communication. Mobile phones are a necessity. Nevertheless, is it a blessing or a curse on the quality of a relationship?

The influence of mobile phone on face to face conversations

Globalization has seen materials from one continent move from a continent to another. Mobile phones are one of the products that has been globalized leading to its popularity. The mobile phone has made people separated by continents and oceans feel together through communication and connected to the wider world, and even in its silent mode, the presence of the mobile phone is still being felt. This has affected the nature of communication during in-person conversation since the mobile phone diverts and interrupts one of the party’s attention who tends to forget that the two were once separated. The party forgetting of the past separation will tend to shift his\her concentration to another, not near thus humiliating the other who may have taken the precious time for bonding.

Researchers on personal research have studied the effects of phones on personal relationships. There are variations in findings. One of the researchers, Turkle, has pointed the negative influence of the phones on personal relationships due to diversion of attention during conversions when one party has their concern on maintaining the connection with the social world. Another, Shah, has found that phones tend to degrade persons without their awareness on their first social interaction. These researchers have created a base for Przybyl


ski and Weinstein to try to measure the extent to which the quality of personal conversations is affected by mobile phones (Przybylski & Weinstein, 2012).

To establish the extent of the mobile phone on personal conversations, Przybylski and Weinstein first conducted an experiment on two strangers on a relationship formation desk. The two strangers talked about a chosen topic in which they felt comfortable. There was a discussion on the topic in the presence of a bland telephone and its absence on dyadics. The findings on the couples that had a phone present, indicated that the relationship was less close compared to those who discussed in the absence of the mobile phone. The absence of the mobile phone created a strong relationship. The second experiment sought to test the self-disclosure of the partners during the discussion. The dyadic findings indicated that couples who discussed a personal issue in the absence of the mobile phone were ready to disclose to their partners. However, the discussion of a personal matter in the presence of a mobile phone discouraged the self-disclosure. Empirically, the mobile phone affects the quality of personal relations in relation to understanding and empathy from a partner during conversation.


Implications of the study

The advent of the mobile phone was a blessing for it reduced the distance making people separated by distance converse. However, it is a curse for it has affected the same relationships it has bided as it reduces the empathy and understanding from a partner when used during a conversation. To ensure that relationships last the mobile phone should be avoided during conversation whether among friends, relatives or strangers who met for the first time.



The mobile phone is the one of the most important tools of communication. It has enabled people separated by distance to converse without boundaries. The presence of the mobile phones has prompted psychologists to investigate the effects of the mobile phone on relationships and found that it has negatively impacted on relationships. The negative impact on relationships as found by researchers on personal relationships has prompted Przybylski and Weinstein to test the extent to which the relationship have been affected majoring on their quality. The conclusions of Przybylski and Weinstein indicates that the mobile phone has negatively impacted on relationships and should be avoided during personal conversations to ensure that relationships last.



Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2012). Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1-10.

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