Police are coming to know your home, even if they have no idea you have an iPhone, according to a new study.
The findings, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, have a direct bearing on how we will live and work together in the 21st century.
The authors found that when police have the chance to track your home remotely, they often use their phones for socialising.
This, the authors say, creates an “environment of uncertainty” where “social isolation can lead to significant social anxiety”.
But they also suggest that these fears are “not unreasonable”, because the technologies are not as advanced as they might seem.
They suggest that police will be able to use social media as an “information bridge” that can help them avoid dangerous situations and identify suspects.
The researchers also suggest they could use social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter to increase the effectiveness of their efforts.
“This new technology, when coupled with social interaction, can help police to monitor their neighbours, to identify individuals who may pose a threat to their safety and to identify those who may be seeking to harm or kill,” the study concludes.
The study was led by University of Adelaide psychologist Michael Paternoster and published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
It is one of a number of research studies which has found that people who spend a lot of time online have less trust in the authorities.
“We are all looking for information, and we are looking for what is going on in the world around us,” Paternosters said.
“The question that is often asked about the social world is, ‘How do we use information to create our own world?’
We have the answer.”
The study looked at four online groups of people: people in countries with the most technology, such as Australia, Canada, and the US; people who live in Australia but are also technologically savvy; and people who have moved to Australia.
The participants were asked to choose the four groups based on how much they used social media and the amount of information they shared online.
They were also asked to rate the effectiveness and ease of accessing information on a scale of 0 to 5 on a five-point scale.
“In our first experiment, we found that individuals in the ‘information bridge’ group were more likely to report social anxiety, whereas those in the social isolation group were less likely to do so,” the researchers wrote.
“These results suggest that individuals who spend more time online tend to be more likely than individuals who have not used social networking to be social isolation-prone.”
In a second experiment, the researchers also found that the researchers found “an increased likelihood” for people in the information bridge group to report higher levels of anxiety than the others.
“Those in the bridge group also reported more anxiety, which suggests that they may be less able to rely on social interactions as a way to manage anxiety,” they wrote.
In a third experiment, they looked at the effects of the information technology on the people who lived in the two social isolation groups.
The research team found that “social anxiety” was associated with an increase in the amount individuals reported accessing information and information sharing on social media.
They also found a greater degree of anxiety associated with being in a social isolation setting.
“Social isolation can be a significant source of anxiety for individuals who are in the technology bridge group, but it is also a risk factor for those in our social isolation control group,” the authors concluded.
“When individuals who live online are placed in social isolation, they have less opportunity to interact socially, and therefore their anxiety and social isolation may increase.
This may contribute to social isolation and anxiety.”
The researchers said the results of the third experiment suggested that social isolation could also be linked to a lack of trust in social norms.
The fourth experiment examined the role of social interaction in helping to reduce social isolation.
The team looked at data from the Australian Social Attitudes Survey and found that social interaction was a key factor in reducing social isolation in those who lived online.
“Our results indicate that social interactions can reduce social anxiety and anxiety-related behaviours,” they concluded.
The report also examined whether there were differences between the two groups when it came to the types of information that people shared online and the type of information which they relied on to make sense of the world.
“A number of variables were measured in both groups,” they said.
They found that both groups were more susceptible to the effects found in the first experiment when it come to the perception of the “social world”.
“These findings provide evidence that people with less access to social media may have lower levels of social isolation,” they continued.
“While we are not able to draw any firm conclusions from this study, it seems that social information can be important in reducing stress and anxiety in individuals who experience more social isolation.”