If you’re alive in 2018, there’s nearly a 100 percent chance you’ve been phubbed. You may not have heard the word before, you’ve likely phubbed someone yourself. To phub is to phone snub, get it? Basically, phubbing is when a conversation is interrupted, slowed, stalled or affected by the use of a cell phone. This could be anything from checking a cell phone during a conversation to simply having a phone on the table.
Yes, this is incredibly annoying, but it may be more harmful than simple inconvenience. Though cell phones were invented to connect people, recent studies show that they cause people to feel disconnected. Phubbing causes in-person interactions to lose meaning and make the people involved feel socially excluded. Phubbing also negatively affects relationships, resulting in depression and lower marital satisfaction.
While the person being phubbed is hurt, the person doing the phubbing enjoys interactions less, as well as elicits negative feelings from others towards themselves. Phubbers appear rude, disinterested and not at all present.
However, there are steps to take to keep yourself and others from phubbing. If someone close to you is a constant phubber, kindly explain to them how it makes you feel. They likely aren’t purposefully sending bad vibes. If you think you might be a phubber yourself, make a conscious effort to keep your phone away during social interactions. Pay attention to how the quality of your conversations may improve. And if you’re with a group of friends, make anti-phubbing into a game and challenge everyone to leave their phones in another room for a whole hour. You might find magical results.