Why Putting Your Phone Away Isn't The Answer

Alixandra Barasch

By Alixandra Barasch

By Alixandra Barasch

The admonition to “Put your phone away!” while attending an event is universal. We all have the sense that if someone is fiddling with their phone or texting during an experience, their attention isn’t where it should be. And indeed, previous research does show that using technology to multitask during experiences can reduce feelings of immersion and enjoyment.

Yet people persist in texting or posting on social media during experiences of every variety. For example, during the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show, over 5 million tweets were posted during the 30 minutes Lady Gaga was onstage. And Eurovision viewers in 2017 generated about 5 million social media interactions during the show. Are all these people really undermining their own enjoyment? And is it really the case that generating content during experiences is necessarily detrimental?

Our recent work indicates that these assumptions may not reflect how most consumers actually generate content during experiences. The concerns so regularly expressed by the popular media may be greatly overstated.

Read the full Forbes India article.
Alixandra Barasch is an Assistant Professor of Marketing.