Title: Digital-mediated communication: effect of smartphone use on family communication in Nigeria

Authors: Peter Eshioke Egielewa; Paul Edeghonghon Umolu

Addresses: Department of Mass Communication, Edo State University Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria ' Department of Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria

Abstract: This study interrogates the extents to which smartphone usage impacts 1,086 family members with children who are at least seven years old and own at least one smartphone in Nigeria. Using quantitative research, the study deployed the questionnaire to respondents at their homes, churches, mosques and wedding ceremonies between 15th April and 15th May 2022. Based on the rational choice theory and the family system theory, this research finds out that smartphone eases communication, but negatively affected normal conversation especially sleep, meal and relaxation times for both parents and children. Also, the study shows that smartphone is gradually shifting the medium of family communication from relational to digital as more family members communicate using the smartphone than interpersonally. The research concludes that smartphone usage affects family communication negatively and recommends the moderation of smartphone use in the family and the search for alternative platforms for family communication that minimises smartphone addiction.

Keywords: digital; mediated-communication; smartphone; family; Nigeria.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2022.128462

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2022 Vol.14 No.3, pp.206 - 223

Received: 30 Jul 2022
Accepted: 18 Oct 2022

Published online: 23 Jan 2023 *

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