Are you a phubber?

Not sure?

Well, you may be a phubber if you do any of the following:

-scroll through your phone rather than talk to the person next to you.

-check your email during a lull in the conversation,

-frequently glance at your phone when someone is trying to tell you something,

-hold your phone in your hand while hanging out with a group.

-lay your phone on the table during a meal/conversation

Phubbing is actually a combination of two words: phone and snubbing.   According to the Oxford Online Dictionary, phubbing is, “The practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device.”

Common sense and life experience tell us that we want people to focus on us when we are talking to them.  If they are distracted and not really listening to us, we don’t feel validated and cared for. We don’t feel special. Phubbing is a chronic distraction throughout all levels of society and takes place everywhere. This really is a real problem. Watch people in restaurants, parks, and any social situation around town and you will notice more and more people staring at phones rather than each other.  What we already know intuitively and by common sense about the need for social interaction has now been validated with a research study.

The recent study came to the conclusion that phubbing is a form of social exclusion that threatens the very basic and fundamental human needs of belonging, self-esteem, meaningful existence and control.  The study divided 153 people into groups and exposed them to videos of different social interactions.  The groups included no phubbing, partial phubbing and extensive phubbing.  The subjects had to imagine they were a part of the conversation in the video and then examine how they felt.

The subjects felt that higher levels of phubbing posed a higher threat to their basic needs.  They also perceived the communication quality to be poorer and the relationship status less satisfying the more phubbing they witnessed.

Have you been the victim of phubbing?  Sitting in a group at a restaurant and feeling lonely because everyone is staring at their phones? Or maybe you are the one who can’t seem to get off your phone. Don’t be that person who ignores your friends because you are caught up in social media. Your relationships will improve if you put away your phone (out of sight), silence it so you aren’t tempted to peek at every notification, and make eye contact with the people you care about when you are talking and spending time with them.

Here is a funny link to a site trying to bring awareness about phubbing.   (Hint: Try it on your desktop computer and then from you cell phone and see what happens).