Is ‘phubbing’ ruining your life? Here’s what you need to know



Phubbing’, or ‘phone snubbing’, is a common deal these days. As the name suggests, it typically means giving more importance to the phone over real human interaction.

The term was first coined in 2012, when an Australian advertising agency described the perils of people ignoring their loved ones who were seated right in front of them, and choosing to scroll through their phones instead.

Even if the word is not a part of your vocabulary, you may certainly have ‘phubbed’ someone in your life.

Here is how it may be hurting your relationships and ruining your life; read on.

Personal relationships

Experts believe that phubbing takes away from the experience of being physically and mentally present with people and engaging with them. As such, it can make face-to-face conversations less satisfying for both the parties. If anything, the phubber may feel guilty about it later, when the moment has passed. According to a study published in ScienceDirect, phubbing and excessive use of smartphones can cause conflict in marriages, leading to a decreased marital satisfaction. Another study published in ResearchGate says that having a partner who phubs a lot can cause depression.

Mental health

 It is believed that phubbing affects those people who are at the receiving end of it. Imagine a scenario wherein you are sitting with someone, trying to have a normal conversation, and they are constantly looking at their phone. It is everything rude and negative. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, phubbing threatens our sense of self-esteem, belonging, meaningful existence and control. When someone phone-snubs you, you may feel rejected. This, in turn, makes you reach for your phone, too, so as to fill the void.

Find out if you are a phubber

It is simple. You are a phubber if you carry on with two conversations at a time — one in person and one on your phone. This is not multi-tasking, it is phone-snubbing of the person who is physically present with you. If you carry your phone to the dinner table, and are not able to finish your meal without checking your phone intermittently, you are definitely a phubber.

How you can stop

Consider this to be one of your bad habits and get rid of it. When you are sitting down for family meals, make sure you keep your phone away. If you are eating at a restaurant, change the settings so that the buzzing does not reach/disturb you. Remember, only you can help yourself.

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