No Screen in Between

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10.01.2017 - Fiduciary Trust Canada

No Screen in Between

We live in a 24/7-connected world where ever-advancing information technology continues to shape how and when we communicate. Smartphones, tablets, laptops are ubiquitous in our daily “plugged in” lives. Now, instead of talking across the table at family dinners, using their respective devices, kids and parents can converse with people down the way or around the world. Special experiences involve documenting and sharing moments on social media for the world to see. Business happens via email and online rather than through traditional face-to-face interaction. What are the potential implications of this tech-first trend?


In 2014, the University of California, Los Angeles, completed research that studied two groups of grade six students and the effect technology has on individuals’ abilities to read human emotions. One group was sent to a five-day outdoor education camp and had no connection to electronic devices during their stay. For the other group, life carried on as normal and they remained “connected” to their phones, televisions and computers. When asked to identify the feelings represented by 50 images of faces, the students with no access to electronic devices scored much better as compared to the other test group. The study is just one insight on how devices can link us immediately in one way, but can keep us a distance apart in others.



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