What is phubbing?

Phubbing is the habit of snubbing people during conversations in person because of your mobile phone. It is a word coined from phone and snubbing. The word was first used in 2012 by an advertising agency to show the growing habit of people ignoring the people right in their presence to just scroll through their phones.

Signs that you are a Phubber

  1. You always have your phone with you. You experience discomfort or a sense of loss whenever you are without your phone for a while.
  2. You simultaneously carry on two conversations, one on the phone and one in person. You probably don’t focus on either of the two.
  3. You pull out your phone as soon as you step out into public and keep it close at hand.
  4. Even when you are with family or friends, you inevitably end up on your phone.

Partner Phubbing

Partner phubbing is responsible for lots of issues in relationships. When someone in the relationship is always on their phone texting while the other person is talking about how their day went, it passes a message of disinterest that could be hurting your relationship.

Effects of Phubbing on your Relationships

Some of the effects of partner phubbing are:

  1. Emotional Disconnection

When phubbing becomes a constant issue in a relationship, your partner may start to feel emotionally disconnected from you and disagreements may begin to arise over this especially when your partner’s primary love language is quality time. If they begin to feel like you are prioritizing your cell phone over them, they may start to feel lonely and unwanted. Another adverse effect of spending so much time on social media is that you may start comparing your partner to unrealistic social media expectations.

2. Poor Communication

Phubbing does more damage than ruining relationships, it also kills the bond between partners and ruins communication. Since one person is always on their phone, the other person can start feeling excluded from their partner’s life.

3. Poor Mental Health

The conflicts that arise from phubbing can adversely affect marital and relationship satisfaction, as well as, the psychological well-being of who is being snubbed. Phubbing makes your partner feel unwanted and unimportant especially when you’re busy scrolling through your phone in the middle of them trying to have a conversation with you. When your partner begins to feel like they are competing with an electronic device, it can significantly impact their mental health.

4. Trust Issues

Constantly being on one’s phone can create a sense of insecurity in one’s partner. Your partner might begin to feel like you are no longer into them and you’re having an affair with someone else.

Effect of Phubbing on your Mental Health

Studies have shown that the effect of phubbing is more detrimental to the health of those at the receiving end of the snubbing.

These studies show that phubbing is a threat to four human core needs.

  • Self-esteem

Snubbing a person can take a toll on how they feel about themselves. Overlooking a person to be on the phone with someone else will make them feel unimportant and this might affect their self-esteem.

  • Meaningful existence

If a person finds themselves in an environment where they are being constantly phubbed by those around them, such a person might begin to question their importance to others.

  • Belongingness

When someone is phubbed, they may feel excluded and unimportant. This can have a significant impact on their mental health. Being constantly ignored by others can be detrimental to one’s sense of belongingness.

  • Control

Additionally, control studies reveal that people who have been phubbed are more likely to reach for their phones and make an effort to interact with their social media network in an effort to feel in control or like they belong. This starts a vicious cycle because they start encouraging other people to feel in charge or in control.

How to stop Phubbing?

Phubbing statistics show that over 17 percent of people phub others more than four times daily and 32 percent are also being phubbed two to three times a day. After the word ‘phubbing’ was coined by the advertising agency in 2012, it created an awareness that led to a “Stop phubbing” campaign. This shows how harmful phubbing is to phubbers and those around them.

Phubbing is rooted in a larger problem which is phone addiction. As a person addicted to their phone, following strict rules is the best way to get over it and stop phubbing. A few ways to stop phubbing are:

  1. Establish phone-free zones

This is a method of preventing phubbing from interfering with activities that you are doing with your partner or loved ones during quality time. to establish a solid, enduring relationship with them. Establish phone-free zones in the areas where you spend time together. places like the bedroom, dinner table, and car. You must put your phones away whenever you are in these areas.

2. Put Your Phone on Silent

Put your phone on silent or activate the “Do not disturb” feature whenever you are around people or having a conversation as this is another effective way to stop phubbing. In this way, you won’t constantly feel the need to check your phone. During the conversation, try to be attentive and show a sincere interest in your partner’s or others’ lives.

3. Challenge yourself and set consequences

Everyone enjoys prizes now. Making ignoring your phone a challenge and keeping track of all the hours you were able to go without your phone can help you get over phubbing. You can set a goal to not be on your phone during lunch hours and when you complete this goal, give yourself a treat, and challenge yourself again. While this might be a struggle at the beginning, it will help you get used to being in the moment and forming genuine connections with your partner and the people around you. However, you must set realistic goals and expectations and keep rewarding yourself each time you meet up.

How to help others stop Phubbing?

In the modern age of technology and social media and with the current phubbing statistics, you may have more than one phubber around you. They might be family members, coworkers, or friends. You must try to help them instead of judging them. Here are a few helpful tips.

  1. Communicate with them

The problem with phubbers is that they have no idea that their actions can be causing some kind of discomfort to those around them and nine times out of ten they are not aware of how annoying or excluding this could be. It is important to give them enough time to acknowledge their problem, understand its effects and consequences and work on it.

2. Help them focus on other things.

3. Be understanding that it is an addiction and they need all the time and support they can get to get over it.

Conclusion: Next time you catch yourself on your phone in the middle of a conversation, bring yourself back to the present by dropping it. Also, if your partner or friend is phubbing during a conversation, look them straight in the eyes to call their attention to the present.