Document Type



Author's Final Manuscript

Publication Title

Cognition and Emotion



Publication Date



As the ubiquity of technology-mediated communication grows, so does the number of questions about the costs and benefits of replacing in-person interactions with technology-mediated ones. In the present study, we used a daily diary design to examine how people’s emotional experiences vary across in-person, video-, phone-, and text-mediated interactions in day-to-day life. We hypothesised that individuals would report less positive affect and more negative affect after less life-like interactions (where in-person is defined as the most life-like and text-mediated as the least life-like). In line with this hypothesis, the analysis of 527 unique interactions reported by 102 individuals (mean age = 19.3; 85.6% female) over the course of 7 days reveals that people feel lonelier, sadder, less affectionate, less supported, and less happy following less life-like interactions. Additional analyses show that the links between life-like communication and momentary experiences are independent of properties of individual interactions such as interaction length and participants’ overall evaluations of interaction quality. These findings provide initial evidence that there may be inherent properties of common technology-mediated communication tools that may lead to momentary changes in affective experiences and make social connection more challenging.