What is “Phubbing” and How is it Hurting Relationships?

What is phubbing? If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t ever heard of this term. You may even be wondering what somebody is talking about if they bring it up. After all, it’s not like you are likely to hear it on a daily basis. However, it’s probably something that you do every single day without even realizing that you are doing it. The truth is, you probably do it a lot, maybe even multiple times throughout the day. In addition, it could be hurting the relationships you have with other people, so it’s important to figure out what it is and then learn how to correct it.

It’s important to talk about first things first. You have to know what phubbing is. Otherwise, you are completely powerless to do anything about correcting your behavior because you don’t know what you are doing wrong in the first place. This is a relatively new term for an old problem. It refers to someone who isn’t paying attention to the person or persons who are right in front of them because that person is too busy looking at their phone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re checking your email, looking at Facebook, or scrolling through Pinterest, if you’re doing it while you’re having a face-to-face conversation with someone, you’re phubbing them.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the term comes from combining the words snubbing and phone. After all, the is essentially what you are doing. You’re paying more attention to your phone than you are to anyone that’s actually with you. Since so many people think it’s fun to combine words in order to create a new word these days, we end up with the term phubbing.

The bigger question you have to ask yourself is how often you do this, and what it’s doing to the relationships you have with other people. The truth is, most people consider this to be an extremely rude behavior, but many of them are simply too polite to tell you how they feel. Chances are, it’s been done to you as well. How do you feel when you plan to get together with a friend for lunch, especially when it’s someone you haven’t seen in a long time. Now imagine that your friend spends half of his or her time staring at the phone instead of having a conversation with you. You probably started to wonder why you even bothered to come to lunch in the first place.

One thing is certain, people like to be given the respect they’re due. It’s absolutely maddening when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone and they even bother to answer you because they have to update the status on Facebook. If their phone is so much more important, you have to imagine that they don’t really put much stock into anything you have to say in the first place.

All of this can hurt relationships. Sometimes, it causes such a rift between two people that they scarcely even have anything to do with one another. In all seriousness, it’s probably time to put the phone down and spend some time having a face-to-face conversation. It’ll help you stay engaged and prevent you from losing all of your friends at the same time.


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