Your smartphone as news source: is it a good replacement for the traditional newspaper?

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In our modern day society there seems to be a shift from news platforms. The traditional paper seems to be in decline and many people prefer reading the news from their smartphones. Since smartphones offer more than just news, but also other forms of information, contact with friends and family and games, this could lead to all sorts of distractions. Even when not in use people are constantly aware of the presence of the device and its possibilities. Because they feel emotionally attached to the device, many smartphone users are constantly aware of the presence, leading to disruption of the task they were originally focussing on. When reading the news from a smartphone this would mean that people would be distracted more when compared to paper. This because the phone, even when it would not do anything but displaying the article, would send out disrupting stimuli. An experiment was conducted (N=35) to test the influence of reading platform on recall, mediated by distraction. The results turned out to be very small and non-significant, though they did follow the expected pattern. Therefore the effect does show signs of existence where future research should further look at, though with larger test populations.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen