The mere presence of a cell phone has a negative impact on feelings of closeness and trust. Main take away from the study:
“These results demonstrated that the mere presence of mobile communication technology might interfere with human relationship formation, lending some empirical support to concerns voiced by theorists (Turkle, 2011). Evidence derived from both experiments indicates the mere presence of mobile phones inhibited the development of interpersonal closeness and trust, and reduced the extent to which individuals felt empathy and understanding from their partners. Results from the second experiment indicated that these effects were most pronounced if individuals were discussing a personally meaningful topic. More specifically, results of this experiment showed that meaningful conversation topics tended to encourage intimacy and trust under neutral conditions. This difference between those in the casual and meaningful conversation conditions was absent in the presence of a mobile phone, which appeared to interfere in conditions that were otherwise conducive to intimacy. More interesting, the debriefing procedure suggests that these effects might happen outside of conscious awareness.”
A link to the complete study is here.