So, you’ve finally(!!!) managed to get your BFFs to unanimously agree on a time and place to meet up. You get to the restaurant looking fabulous (as always) – your friends are on time brimming with excitement and the DJ is playing all your jams. Everything’s great….until you hear the buzzing notifications and now everyone has their phones in their faces. Nothing’s really wrong except suddenly your stories about the food festival you attended last week don’t seem as important anymore. A looming feeling of being uninteresting, unwanted and excluded engulfs you. Sounds familiar? you’ve been phubbed. Phubbing (phone + snubbing) is the act of ignoring someone (often unintentionally) by giving attention to your mobile phone instead. Most of us are guilty of it and unfortunately, it’s hurting our social relationships.
Why Do We Phub?
Hey, you know that thing called ‘internet addiction’ that your mom keeps screaming at you about? Yeah, that’s probably why you phub. If being without your phone makes you feel like you’re missing an organ – my friend, we’ve got a problem. Often linked to FOMO (fear of missing out), phubbing is definitely not great for your mental health.
How Is It Affecting Relationships?
If you’re looking at your phone screen instead of someone’s face while having a conversation with them, you’re unknowingly giving out the signal that you’ve got better things to do and that they aren’t worthy of your time. This can leave the other person feeling rejected. Phubbing dilutes the quality of our interpersonal interactions and may make you seem emotionally disconnected. Pulling out your phone may seem like such an innocent and harmless action but it speaks volumes about how much we value our surroundings.
What Can you Do About It?
Since most of the time you’ve been phubbing unknowingly, becoming aware of this habit is the first step to overcoming it. Catch yourself the next time you feel the urge to take a sneak peek at your phone mid-conversation and consciously keep your mobile aside. Take it up as a challenge for yourself. You could also declare the dinner table to be a no-phone zone to encourage face-to-face conversations. Curing phone addiction isn’t an overnight feat and there may be underlying reasons and emotions that you might be avoiding. So don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help if needed.
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