What is phubbing?
“Phubbing” is the act of ignoring or snubbing a companion to pay attention to a phone or mobile device (1). Pretty much everyone has their smart phone in their hands these days (2). Research shows that simply the presence of a mobile phone in social settings detracts from the face-to-face interaction. Most people typically do not realize that the use of their phone–when they are talking to another person–is perceived to be negative (2).
How does phubbing affect my social interactions?
There are many benefits to social media because it serves as a way to connect with loved ones and those who are not live near by (2). Despite the fact that many individuals use their mobile devices to maintain relationships, research suggests that the presence of cell phones negatively affects in-person interactions (2). Having a phone present (not necessarily even in view) during an in-person interaction can result in less effective communication. This is especially true during meaningful interactions (2). Many students interrupt their meals or conversations with friends to check texts, emails, social media and voicemails (3). It is not surprising that this then takes a toll on carrying out a conversation, listening attentively, and developing trust (2).
What can you do?
So the next time you meet with a faculty member, supervisor or at your next student org meeting, you may want to keep your phone or laptop in your book bag. You can also turning off your phone when you are at work or hanging out with friends. Focus on enjoying the in-person social time you have with friends. Set aside certain times during the day to use social media, have phone calls, or even answer texts and emails.
- Przybylski, Andrew K., Weinstein, Netta.; Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality.; Journal of Social and Personal Relationships; 2012
- Geser, H. Sociology of the mobile phone. University of Zurich, Switzerland. 2002