Alone with My Phone: Exploring Links Between Solitude, Technology Use, and Socio-Emotional Functioning in Adolescents

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Watanabe, Lori K.




Technology use is ubiquitous in contemporary adolescent culture. Researchers studying social interactive technologies have begun to compare types of technology use (e.g., active versus passive). The increased access to technology is now changing how developmental contexts (e.g., solitude) are experienced. The aim of this study was to investigate how types of technology use while in solitude, might impact upon adolescents' perceptions of aloneness and feelings. Participants consisted of N = 434 grade 11 students from high schools in Ottawa. Based on self-report measures, results showed that within the context of solitude, adolescents believed they would feel more lonely, bored, and sad in the passive scenario compared to the active scenario. However, adolescents reported feeling the most content and socially connected in the audio-visual scenario. In addition, time spent alone was related to lower positive affect and greater loneliness, whereas active technology use was positively associated with negative affect.


Psychology - Developmental




Carleton University

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