How and Why People Use Mobile Phones Near Bedtime and in Bed: Israelis’ Narratives of Digitally Enabled Sleepful Sociality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although prior studies have examined the impact of smartphone use on sleep and there is a growing interest in the interface between mobile phones and society, researchers know little about how and why people use mobile phones before bedtime and in bed. The current research explores this question by drawing on data from sleep diaries and in-depth interviews with 66 Israelis. The results show that the human–mobile phone sleep assemblage generates agentic capacities that allow individuals to engage in a digitally enabled form of what I call sleepful sociality – a sociality marked by sleep. Through the use of mobile phones, individuals create, maintain and/or detach from social relations and fulfil social obligations near bedtime and during sleep, while also trying to facilitate and protect their own and their bed partner’s sleep. These findings enhance the understanding of how technology is enmeshed with sociality and creates new ways of being social.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociology
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: this research was supported by the ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (grant No. 1170/19). The funding source was not involved in the study design, analysis or interpretation of the data.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • mobile phones
  • qualitative research methods
  • sleep
  • sleepfulness
  • smartphones
  • sociality
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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