Experts say that smartphones are killing the art of conversation. When you use your smartphone during a conversation, even if you’re just quickly checking your email, you feel less connected to the person you’re talking to (and less fulfilled overall by the conversation).
Even the topics you talk about during a smartphone-augmented conversation are of lower quality, because you tend to discuss shallower topics (where it won’t matter if you’re interrupted).
But it’s not all bad news. I mean, while smartphones may not foster high-quality conversational topics, empathy, or general human connection…there are some ways in which a smartphone-augmented conversation is better than a regular conversation.
You can capture the moment
One could argue that taking a selfie with your best friend is a form of bonding that transcends conversation.
You can exchange contact information
You want to have a deep, meaningful conversation but it’s just not the right time. Luckily, you can reliably exchange contact info via your smartphones and have that conversation sometime in the future!
You’ll never run out of topics
What do you do when you run out of things to talk about but you’re still stuck with this person for the next five hours? Hello, front page of reddit!
Awkward silences are no longer awkward
Face it: Some people sucked at conversation long before smartphones entered the picture. Now those people are just as good at conversation as everyone else, thanks to the awkward-silence-smartphone-stare!
You can settle arguments immediately
Instead of arguing about a random fact for six hours, and possibly destroying your relationship with another human being...just check Google.
You have access to many different views
Most conversations benefit from an alternate point of view. And your smartphone gives you access to all of those views, from totally insane to pretty reasonable.
You can play games together
Some relationships are more about doing things together than talking to each other. Thanks to your smartphone, you always have something to do with one another!
You can avoid super awkward situations
That girl across the room…you definitely know her! But what’s her name? Check Facebook for your friend’s friends and bam: you can have a perfectly normal, non-awkward conversation with her without having to introduce yourself again.
You can record conversations
Okay, so this one probably goes both ways. But it is convenient, if you’re a journalist or a student and you’re trying to memorize what someone’s saying, to be able to easily record what another person is saying.
You can have more conversations
Phone and video calls count as conversations, right? Well, without them you’d probably only talk to your parents twice a year.
Seriously, more conversations
Plus, you can talk to people while you’re talking to people. Quantity counts, too, right?
This story, "11 ways smartphones make real-life conversations better" was originally published by Greenbot.