Smartphone use behavior and quality of life: What is the role of awareness?

Alon Sela, Noam Rozenboim, Hila Chalutz Ben-Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


How does smartphone use behavior affect quality of life factors? The following work suggests new insights into smartphone use behavior, mainly regarding two contradicting smartphone modes of use that affect quality of life in opposite ways. The Aware smartphone mode of use reflects an active lifestyle, while the Unaware mode of use reflects the use of the smartphone in conjunction with other activities. Using data from 215 individuals who reported their quality of life and smartphone use habits, we show that high levels of smartphone use in the Unaware mode of use have a significant negative effect on the quality of life. However, the results show a mild positive effect when the individual uses the smartphone in an aware mode of use. We identify three latent factors within the quality-of-life construct and measure the effect of the different smartphone modes of use on these quality-of-life factors. We find that (i) The functioning latent factor, which is an individual’s ability to function well in his or her daily life, is not affected by smartphone use behavior. In contrast, (ii) the competence latent factor, which is a lack of negative emotions or pain, and (iii) the positive feelings latent factor both show a clear effect with the smartphone Unaware mode of use. This implies that the unaware use of smartphones, which is its use in conjunction with other activities or late at night, can be related to lower levels of quality of life. Since smartphones currently serve as an interface between the self and the cyber space, as well as an interface between the self and other individuals online, these results need to be considered for social wellbeing in relation to digital human behavior, smartphone addiction and a healthy mode of use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0260637
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3 March
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Sela et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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