A couple of years ago a new word was invented to describe how cell phone users snub someone because of their phone. The word is ‘phubbing’ (fub ing).

The definition of ‘phubbing’ is: the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your cell phone instead of paying attention.

Now that you know what ‘phubbing’ is, I’m sure it has happened to you and you may have been a ‘phubber’ yourself. At restaurants, during concerts, even in meetings we see people more involved in what is happening on the screen of their phone than with the people in front of them. Beyond causing us to miss out on what is happening in real time (and annoying those around us), research shows that phubbing may have detrimental impacts on our relationships.

I have been in a restaurant watch two people sitting together and not paying attention to each other but immersed in their phones. I always wonder if they are not talking to each other but they are texting back and forth.

A study of ‘phubbing’ shows that staying plugged in may feel good on the surface, but the ongoing state is causing a disturbance to our mental health and dysfunction in our social and professional lives. The easy-to-use nature of smartphones and apps ensures that they are on-hand and often in-hand from the moment we wake up to the morning alarm until we set it again at night.

By decreasing our focus and efficiency throughout the workday, phubbing your partner and friends may damage your relationships. When looking at your phone becomes more important than communicating with you partner or friends negative contentions in the relationship can result.

It will take a certain level of self-awareness and practice to cut back on screen time and shake your reputation as a phubber, but the increase your overall life and work satisfaction will be far worth it. Be patient with yourself and with your fellow phubbers as you work to break bad habits and create new ones.

It does take a certain level of self-awareness and practice to cut back on screen time and shake your reputation as a ‘phubber’, but the increase of your overall life and work satisfaction will be worth it. Be patient with yourself and with your fellow phubbers as you work to break bad habits and create new ones.

sanebox.com