Jeanine Turner (standing) jokingly demonstrates how using phones and laptops while someone is speaking can hurt relationships. Pictured here on the left are Michael DeFabbo, Elba Garcia and DeWayne McClary, with Vanessa Carlo-Miranda on the right. The students are in the Executive Masters in Leadership D.C. Public Schools-Charter Principal Program at the McDonough School of Business.

Research: Social Presence & Technology

on April 12 | in Communication, Technology | by | with No Comments

If you ask your employees to turn off their phones during a meeting, you might be hurting your own credibility, according to new research by Georgetown professor Jeanine Turner.

Asking people to put their phones away is increasingly unrealistic, says Turner, who co-authored the study with Sonya Foss of the University of Colorado Denver.

“Can people be innovative at a meeting if they’re worried about a family member in a nursing home who needs to get in touch with them?” says Turner, an associate professor in Georgetown’s Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT) program. “It’s no longer, ‘I’m working for the White House, I need to have my phone.’ It’s everybody, because of all the networks that we’re embedded in.”

But she also sees the need for people to manage their presence without hurting crucial relationships.

The research, which will be published in the top scholarly journal Communication Theory, offers a new framework for regulating social presence. The framework establishes four types of presence – budgeted, entitled, competitive and invitational – and includes each type’s respective goals, benefits and costs.

To read the full article, visit

Pin It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

« »

Scroll to top