There’s a common belief that social distanced shirts can hurt social distancers, who are often young, gay, trans, or disabled.
They’re often worn by a friend or co-worker to signify the friendship is not a platonic one, and that the friendship should be treated as an open relationship.
The shirts can also be worn to signal the closeness of a friendship.
But in a recent study, we found that, while this perception might be true, the shirts don’t work as advertised.
We tested the social distancer shirts, which use a simple social distance design, and found that they didn’t hurt people’s social distances in a meaningful way.
The social distraction effect, which researchers have previously shown to be important in the development of social distractibility, is actually less effective in people who are already distanced.
We think this finding has important implications for how we design social distractions in the workplace, particularly for people who aren’t already distancing.
In the next post, we’ll explore how people should react to the social-distancing shirts, and how we can develop more social distal designs in the future.
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