If you are wondering what this word is, then this version of “you” needs to be updated.
Jokes apart, the new millennium along with its advancements, has brought in new complications and new problems. One of the main issues posing as a threat in this era of social media is communication between two individuals.
Phubbing is a combination of two words- phone + snubbing. It is the act of checking one’s phone while engaging in a conversation with a person. You must now be recollecting your experience of being in a similar situation.
Yes, it is common these days and it is slowly becoming a habit. So why should we be worried about it?
The cause of worry is because man in the words of Aristotle has always been a social animal, and any change in that, is unnatural. The social media cannot replace the fun and emotional exchange that one experiences while interacting face-to-face.
FOMO (fear of missing out) makes one keep checking his/her facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc. However, what tends to be forgotten is emotional disturbance that it causes in the other person engaging in a conversation with you.
It has been noticed that the act of phubbing has caused a significant amount of marital distress amongst couples. The feeling of neglect and not being heard often leads to quarrels and results in a strain on the relationship.
The sense of belongingness is greatly disturbed. The “victim of phubbing” may feel that he/she is not important and does not get a feeling of belonging to the conversation. This leads to a low self esteem and the person starts doubting his/her meaningful existence. Eventually it leads to this individual phubbing on someone else and the cycle continues.
One must remember that the term phubbing refers to one person giving importance to phone rather than the conversation. It does not refer to point that one uses the phone excessively, like while traveling or in a situation where dialogue isn’t necessary.
Now, what are the signs of a phubber?
- Having a constant urge to check the phone during a conversation, and doing so.
- Seems to prefer interacting with electronic device rather than with person in front of them
Are you a phubber? If so, what can be done to stop this behaviour:
- You need to realise and understand the issue,
- you need to take voluntary efforts to engage in conversations with eye to eye contact,
- allocate fixed hours to the family and remember to put your phone away during that time.
If you know of a person who is into this habit, gently speak to him/her about it and discuss how it disturbs you. Remember to keep your phone away in front of them as a reminder that you are ready to help. Do not encourage your conversation to revolve around the phone or anything that requires the help of a phone.
Brushing up on our social skills and relearning all that we have forgotten will lead to many more pleasurable conversations in the future.
“Social media is an amazing tool, but it’s really the face-to-face interaction that makes a long-term impact.”
Dr Vasanth Renganathan,