Have you ever ignored someone in favor of texting someone else? Texting while someone is talking to you is rude, but we’re all guilty of it. Unfortunately, this is a common habit these days, but you should know that it’s not that innocent — it can ruin your relationships.
Ignoring the person next to you because of your phone can lead to emotional distance from your loved ones.
Phubbing Meaning and How it Was Invented
“Phone snubbing” or phubbing is ignoring someone in favor of the phone. People do this in any conversation — whether with a partner, family member, friend, or even colleagues in business meetings.
It’s inconsiderate and rude behavior. It implies that the person you’re next to is less important than the person on the other end of your smartphone. A phubber may be using their phone to text others, check their social media, or for any other activities. But who likes to hang out with someone who texts other people the whole time?
Why Is It Called Phubbing?
We’ve already established the phubbing definition, so now let’s see the origin of the name. “Phubbing” was coined in 2012 during the McCann advertising firm’s advertising campaign for the Australian Macquarie Dictionary.
A group of authors and lexicographers coined the phrase. It was popularized through the “Stop Phubbing” campaign, which emphasized the need for an improved dictionary with terminology linked with modern society. The term “phubbing” was given to Alex Haigh, an intern at the firm during the campaign.
Phubbing combines the words “phone” and “snubbing,” meaning snubbing someone to pay attention to a smartphone. Phubbing pronunciation, /ˈfʌb.ɪŋ/, is predictable since it’s a blend of the phrase “phone snubbing.”
Effects of Phubbing on Your Relationship
How would you feel if you went all excited to spend quality time with your partner, and they’re scrolling through their Instagram feed instead of paying attention to you? Or they’re playing video games instead of listening about your day. It sounds frustrating, right?
Phubbing interferes with your capacity to be present and interact with your partner. Texting with others while having a face-to-face conversation is unpleasurable for everyone involved.
Is phubbing disrespectful to your partner?
Not only is it quite disrespectful, but phubbing in a relationship may be very damaging. Phubbing can also harm marriages. According to one study, a couple’s phubbing behavior toward each other might lead to depression and decreased marital satisfaction.
Fighting about phone usage leads to tension and negative feelings. The constant conflicts over the same issues can even lead to depression.
Phubbing Leads to Emotional Disconnection
When phubbing becomes a habit, couples can become emotionally estranged. If quality time is a priority to the other partner, significant issues may arise over the phubber’s phone addiction.
If they believe their partner prioritizes their mobile phone above them, they may begin to feel alone. On the other hand, a phubber who spends a lot of time on social media can fall victim to the comparison trap. When they compare their relationship to other couples on social media, they may have low relationship satisfaction.
Phubbing can allow you to communicate with someone far away from you, but it can be detrimental to your in-person communication, perhaps causing a rift in your relationship.
To understand the phubbing meaning, think of poor communication with people around you. Phubbing has been connected to poor communication quality and relationship unhappiness. It can also harm the mental health of the partner who is being phubbed since they feel neglected by their partner.
If there isn’t good communication between you and nothing changes soon, you’ll need to break up with your partner. No relationship would survive without good communication.
How to Stop Phubbing?
Simply not using the phones while together isn’t the solution. Your partner might not even realize they’re ignoring you because of their phone. It would help if you gave them some time to recognize and address the issue. We offer you some tips so you can try to stop phubbing.
Have an Honest Conversation With Your Partner
A relationship without communication is a major red flag. So, the first step is to openly and honestly talk about it. Explaining a problematic behavior might be difficult, so approach the subject calmly.
Your partner is probably unaware that their actions are making you uncomfortable. They may not intentionally exclude you even if they know about their phone addiction.
So, use “I statements” to express how you see your partner’s phubbing to be an issue (e.g., “I feel neglected when you stare at your phone instead of listening to me.”) Your partner won’t get defensive if you start the discussion this way.
When people become defensive, everyone is more concerned with defending themselves than hearing what their partner says. So next, clarify why phubbing in marriage is an issue and how it influences your relationship. For example, you can explain you’re less interested in sex since you feel ignored and not like a priority while your partner is texting other people during dinner.
However, if they start with the same behavior again, you must be patient, remind them, and try not to take it personally.
Create No-Phone Hour or No-Phone Zone
Having this type of “rule” will help you reconnect. You can set out a time each day that is free of electronics. Both of you turn devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops for an hour or two.
The goal is to turn off your gadgets and engage in more human-centric activities at a specific time of day. Make sure your partner feels comfortable using their phone the rest of the time.
In addition, you can make some rooms a no-phone zone. To maintain a meaningful and healthy relationship, put your phones on silent or “Do not disturb” mode in the bedroom and dining table.
By doing this, neither of you will be tempted to check the phone every time it buzzes. The bedroom and the dining table are places where you should be present at the moment.
Do a Digital Detox
Smartphones can be used to stop phubbing. For example, phubber can use applications to track their phone usage and ban distracting apps so they can be present with their partners and avoid phubbing.
Removing distracting applications from the home screen is also a good idea. Smartphones also have the option to disable push notifications, which is also helpful. Doing a detox from social media at least once a week may also be beneficial. Even Instagram influencers, who make money from it, practice this, so we can all do it!
Shift Their Focus
You may be tempted to text someone or check your Instagram when your partner starts phubbing you. However, it’s crucial to refrain from reaching for your phone.
Talk about anything intriguing in your surroundings to get your partner’s attention. Assist them in focusing on what is important at the moment rather than spending their time on the phone.
Is phubbing an addiction?
Phubbing is a symptom of cellphone addiction. Phubbing refers to any of the following smartphone activities:
- In the middle of a discussion, phubbers check their phone;
- When the conversation stops, they check their phone;
- They always keep their phone nearby even while having one-on-one time with someone;
- They interrupt a real-life discussion to take a phone call.
So, yes, it’s an addiction, but the good news is that there are some things phubbers can do to reduce the time spent on their phones.
Is it rude to look at your phone when someone is talking to you? Phubbing isn’t just a trendy term for a common problem; it’s also impolite. Unfortunately, it’s getting more common as cellphones become more widespread.
Couples in healthy relationships should interact in such a way that they feel heard and valued. They should stay present while interacting with their partner, and the relationship will benefit from increased real-life communication.
However, there are methods to stop it. Having an open conversation and making rules are excellent ways to keep a relationship free of electronic distractions. With discussion and compromise, you should be able to eliminate the harmful consequences of phubbing.