Understanding the Link Between Social Skills and Phone Use
Keywords:social skills, phone use, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, age cohorts, technology, smart phone
Smartphones took the world by storm in the 2000s. Over the years, smartphones have become vital in everyday life. Each generation responds to technology differently. The younger generation is much more involved with smartphones as well as technology as a whole. Thus, spending too much time on a smartphone could be related to individual’s well-being. The purpose of the present study is to measure Emotional Intelligence (EI), mindfulness, and social competence among different age cohorts and see if there are differences in phone use. Our hypothesis is that participants who score higher on EI, Social Skills, and Mindfulness will score lower on the Problematic Phone Usage Scale. Younger adults will score lower on EI, Social Skills, and Mindfulness and higher on Problematic Phone Usage than middle aged and older adults. We ran correlational analyses among, mindfulness, social competence, and problematic phone usage and an ex-post facto comparison between the four cohorts with ages ranging 18-30 (n=105), 31-40 years old (n= 30), 41-50 (n= 30), and 51 and older (n= 21). Survey questions included the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire- Short Form (TEIQ-SF), Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills, Social Competence, and Problematic Phone Usage Scale. Data showed that as age increased phone use decreased. EI, mindfulness, and social competence scores for younger adults were much lower than for middle aged and older adults while younger adults had a significantly larger problematic phone use than middle aged.
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