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Rieger, Diana; Hefner, Dorothee and Vorderer, Peter (2017): Mobile recovery? The impact of smartphone use on recovery experiences in waiting situations. In: Mobile Media & Communication, Vol. 5, No. 2: pp. 161-177

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The proliferation of smartphones and their use in almost every social situation has led to controversial discussions about the smartphone's potential impact on stress and recovery of its users. Some research has found detrimental effects of permanent availability and connectivity, other studies hint at beneficial effects resulting from users taking minibreaks from work. As there is some evidence for a recovery potential of mass media in general, the current study extends this line of research by examining whether smartphones also have such potential. To that end, we investigated the effects of smartphone use in fatiguing situations on recovery experiences and cognitive performance. After a fatigue-induction task, participants were observed in a waiting situation in order to check whether they used their mobile devices. Afterwards, data on their recovery experiences and cognitive performance were collected. The results demonstrate that smartphone use can be beneficial for some recovery dimensions but also detrimental for others. Smartphone use was positively related to cognitive performance, mediated through experiences of control. Results are discussed regarding the consequences of new mobile technologies and their potential to stay permanently Internet-connected.

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