Come on, admit it, you are a phubber, like the most of us are. If not a habitual one, we are reasonably sure it has occasionally occurred to you, either consciously or not. In any case, you are definitely a phubbee.
Phubbing is a combination of the two words “phone” and “snubbing”. The term was coined in 2012 as part of The Stop Phubbing Campaign by McCann advertising agency for Macquarie Dictionary. It describes the very common habit of snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone.
We are reasonably sure that all of us have been both the phubber and the phubbee.
Nowadays with loads of apps and appealing features packed smartphones, we are constantly driven to distraction. Given that people carry their phone with them all of the time, it’s becoming a real problem.
When it comes to inappropriate or rude behaviour, it seems that people don’t mind anymore to interrupt a conversation by answering a text or fast checking apps notifications. Or even worst, when hanging out with friends, sadly isolate and just go on texting. And what about the awfully common couple behaviour at a restaurant: quietly eating and not glancing anything but the phone.
It’s a fact that technology and internet have positively changed the way we socially interact. Today getting informations, work, shop and keeping in touch with our loved ones it’s easier and faster. But apparently it comes with a price. We are constantly distracted, digitally overloaded, unable to keep up with our social selves. And this, like every form of addiction, it shows its many compulsive symptoms: phubbing is one of those.
Plenty of research has been done on how cell phones affect our lives, also relationships. A very interesting study is from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business which confirms that “cellphones are damaging romantic relationships and leading to higher levels of depression”. It simply happens that real-life interactions are dulled when a person feels the urge to check their phone, and the distraction a phone affords one partner doesn’t make the other person feel good. Is this really what we want to be doing? If the answer is no, the next thing to do is stop phubbing each other so much and communicate with those in close proximity to you.
Let’s try to pay a little more attention to people around us. For sure it will take will and discipline but real-life interactions are important, otherwise we’ll end up killing sociality and even romance. Or do you believe you can have a love affair with yuor smartphone?.