The impact of communication technologies on life and relationship satisfaction
Computers in Human Behavior
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Deane, J., Mieczakowski, A., Johnson, D., Goldhaber, T., & Clarkson, J. (2015). The impact of communication technologies on life and relationship satisfaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 57 219-229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.053
Previous studies have shown a relationship between the use of communications technology and well-being, particularly mediated through its effect on personal relationships. However, there is some debate over whether this effect is positive or negative. The present study explored this issue further, examining whether the effect varies depending on the type of communications technology, and the nature of the personal relationship. An online survey was conducted with 3421 participants in three countries (Australia, UK and US). It examined the use of ten communication methods, overall satisfaction with life and satisfaction with four different kinds of relationships (close and extended family, and close and distant friends). Results indicate that richer communication methods, which include non-verbal cues, were positively associated with both overall satisfaction with life and satisfaction with relationships. These methods included face-to-face communication, and phone and video calls. Conversely, more restricted methods, such as text messaging and instant messaging, were negatively associated with both variables. Social networking was negatively associated with overall satisfaction, but not with satisfaction with relationships. The strength of the association between a communications method and satisfaction with a relationship varied depending on the type of relationship, but whether it was positive or negative did not change.
Communications technology, Social media, Relationships, Social connectedness, Well-being
We would like to thank BT plc (British Telecom) for funding this research. BT were involved in selecting the countries involved in the study and agreeing the main methods used in the study. They also reviewed a draft of the initial report, and suggested some stylistic changes but did not affect its content. They were not otherwise involved in study design or conduct. Many thanks are also due to Jeff Patmore, of Pembroke College, Cambridge, for his help and support with this work.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.053
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/253172
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/
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