According to new research, phubbing is actually the main killer of modern day relationships, right next to infidelity maybe and who knows, voting for Trump in the last election cycle or wearing a MAGA hat in the bedroom. Okay, joking aside,I know what you may be thinking right now: what on Earth is phubbing?
Well, phubbing is wrecking emotional havoc among youngsters mainly and it’s a truly pernicious problem which can be described as an obsessive compulsive disorder with regard to maniacally checking one’s smartphone 150 times a day or more. You see where this is going, right? The thing is, if you’re spending more time pecking at your smartphone than pecking at your significant other’s problems, as in you’re spending more quality time with your iPhone than with your girlfriend/boyfriend (or Siri), well, you’re the proud winner of a brand new psychological condition commonly known as phubbing.
The first symptoms of phubbing are compulsively checking for emails/notifications/messages on social media, or maniacally scrolling through your Facebook account searching for brand new memes or cute cat pictures or whatever, you know what I am talking about, right?
Rest assured, you’re just one of the tens of millions of bored people from all around the world who are constantly pecking at their gadgets, but the sad part of the news is that phubbing is destroying your social life. However, you are probably already aware of that.
Phubbing’s etymology comes from phone and snubbing. An example of phubbing is when you’re at the pub with your mates but you’re giving preference to your smartphone rather than the latest political non-issue which is passionately discussed over a pint of beer at the table. When the person you’re in a relationship with is receiving the back panel of your smartphone instead of your witty conversation, well, there you have it: partner phone snubbing->phubbing.
Phone addiction leads to phubbing sooner or later and it seems to affect especially young and extroverted women. According to a phubbing expert:
This is uncharted territory for us as a society.For younger people, technology of this kind has always been a part of their lives and they’re so dependent on it.”
The line between addiction and non-addiction can be quite blurred because it’s a graduated thing,” According to studies in US and UK, on average we check our phones every four to six minutes of our waking hours … that’s over 150 times a day.
The researcher believes that social media companies like Twitter and Facebook are actually playing with our minds, monetizing on our inherent psychological lust for acceptance and interaction with others:
“You can be so seduced by the neurochemical hit of dopamine it provides, of constant connection at a safe distance … who else wants to reach me, the number of likes I’ve got, another funny story to read, the excitement of something new … that it can easily become what you do with your spare time
“So it’s not much of a jump from that to also continuing to do so when you are with your partner, instead of using this time as an opportunity to connect with them.”
Speaking of ruined relationships and partners feeling phubbed, the situation seems to be a growing trend especially among millennials:
“There are three important connection factors that will give us a sense of satisfaction in our relationships. The first one is accessibility, that you’re both open and listening to one another
The second is responsiveness, as in you both empathise and try to understand how the other feels, as in ‘get’ each other, and the third is engagement, so you’re both making the time to be fully attentive to each other.
“Phubbing interferes with all three of these important factors so it’s no surprise to me that people are feeling less satisfied with their relationships because they’re just not having quality time, and they’re not feeling their partner ‘gets’ them or is there for them because there’s always this constant distraction away.” “I have more and more people, couples – one or both partners – coming to me and saying, ‘My partner is constantly on their device and there is no time for me, I feel so completely unimportant in their life’.”
Now, the next question is: are you a phubber? Well, if you have your smartphone close to you at all times, even when you’re spending quality time with your partner and your conversation is superficial as you’re more interested on what’s going on on social media, well, you probably are a phubber. Also, if you can’t restrain from checking out your smartphone during a conversation or when watching TV and so on and so forth, you’ll probably have to settle for a Nokia 3310 and start rebuilding your life.
- Source: Julie Hart, The Hart Centre