UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Quantifying and mitigating couples’ co-located smartphone usage Huma, Zil E


There is a growing concern that many individuals overuse smartphones in the presence of their family members, which sometimes creates frustration and relationship stress among them. Though couples remain co-located for a substantial portion of each day, very little effort has been made in quantifying couples’ co-located smartphone usage and exploring ways to reduce it. As such, I first conduct a two-week study quantifying couples' co-located smartphone usage. Results show that couples spend a considerable amount of time on smartphones while being co-located than when they are not with their partners. Inspired by the results, I conducted a four-week long study exploring smartphone notifications as a medium to motivate couples to limit their co-located smartphone use. The results suggest that notification has potential to help couples in reducing their co-located usage. Based on the findings, I present a set of recommendations for designing solutions to limit smartphone usage among couples.

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