What Does Phubbing Mean in a Relationship?
What Does Phubbing Mean in a Relationship?

What Does Phubbing Mean in a Relationship?


If gadgets prevail over love in your couple, then the symptoms of estrangement are already noticeable.

- Honey, what do we have for dinner today?
- Yeah.

Such a “meaningful dialogue” is not uncommon among couples living together and ignoring live communication. Spending time in instant messengers and sleeping in an embrace with a gadget is normal only in a long-distance relationship. Sweetydate is giving vital advice - mind the gap!
phubbing in relationships

What Is Phubbing?

So, let’s start with phubbing meaning. The term is simple and easy to explain. Phubbing is a constant manifestation of dependence on a smartphone, tablet, computer, and Internet network. Moreover, this habit manifests itself during a conversation. People constantly check their gadgets, scroll photos on social media, chat with someone, or call. This behavior can be called complete neglect of the interlocutor.

The name “disease” appeared recently, in 2012. This issue has been dealt with for a long time and decided to call this phenomenon phubbing. But the term gained world fame much later, after the Australian company STOP PHUBBING published some facts on its website.

Phubbing can be compared to the plague. And if it spreads around the world also actively, then it will capture more people than the population of China in a few years.

  • In a few hours of talking with friends, about 40 cases of phubbing occur.
  • 97% of respondents admitted that food tastes better with a smartphone.
  • The younger generation prefers to communicate on social networks and a phubbing meme only makes them laugh.
  • Phubbers don’t use the phone for calls. They spend time in chats, read various quotes, jokes, update statuses, download music, and watch movies.

What is phubbing according to psychologists? They identify phubbing with other forms of addiction, especially gambling. However, the researchers believe that the main reasons for the abnormal enthusiasm for the gadget are:

  • State of distress
  • Depression
  • Fears
  • Anxiety
  • Other psychological problems.

Among fears, the leading one is fear of missing something important, interesting, falling out of the race for success. Some people are so absorbed in work that they have already forgotten how to relax. However, not all people get into the phone because of work. For some, this is a form of entertainment, communication.

stop phubbingBut why do they go into the virtual world during real meetings? They feel more interested there. So, the real interlocutor is not so important, valuable, and attractive. Or these people simply have nothing to talk about. There are neither general nor interesting topics.

Even smartphone manufacturers advise to use gadgets only for the intended purpose and spend most of the time with their loved ones. Return to the real world and leave your smartphone at home.

How Does Phubbing Affect Romantic Relationships?

Here on sweety date com we have an interesting fact: phubbing is the fourth most popular cause of family quarrels. It is circumvented by monetary, sexual problems, and disagreements regarding parenting. What does phubbing mean in relationships and how can it spoil them? A study was published in Computers magazine alleging that cell phone addiction is associated with depression and lower satisfaction with relationships. It is noticed that constant viewing on the screen of a mobile phone creates conflicts and leads to a decrease in overall satisfaction from the relationship. And this leads to a decrease in the level of satisfaction with life and, ultimately, a higher level of depression.

Examples of phubbing in relationships

  • When we are together, my partner places the mobile phone in such a way as to always see the screen.
  • My woman holds a smartphone in her hand when she is with me.
  • My man is looking at his smartphone while talking to me.
  • If there is a pause in our conversation, my partner will check the smartphone.

Despite the novelty of this phenomenon, scientists have already managed to sound the alarm. They find a clear connection between phubbing and dissatisfaction with relationships, and as a result – depression. Not without reason the habit of constantly twisting the object in the hands is considered a symptom of uncertainty, misunderstanding, and disappointment in others in psychology.

The main danger of phubbing relationships is that this bad habit is characteristic of those couples who are initially unhappy with the relationship. That is, ignoring a partner in favor of the phone may not be the reason but the result of an initially bad relationship. Perhaps, to eradicate phubbing from your life, it is worth “digging” much deeper.

People prefer to escape from real communication into virtual reality because their relationship with a partner doesn’t satisfy them, annoys them, or seems boring. They don’t receive from partners the emotional response that they expect and can search for it in online contacts, or they are not inclined to invest in relationships that disappoint them and don’t pay special attention to their partners.

Another likely explanation is that phubbing causes the deterioration of relationships as it creates the preconditions for conflict. Indirectly, this version is confirmed by another study, which showed that the very availability of a phone at hand (even if it is not used!) makes communication between partners less intimate, especially when topics that are important to them are discussed.

There is, finally, the third version: phubbing is both a cause and a consequence of a deterioration in relationships.

Phubbing Affects Other Social Interactions

Because of the spread of this “dependence,” scientists conducted many opinion polls. The phubbing statistics cite the following figures and are kindly given to you by sweetydate.com:

  • 30.2% admitted that they feel jealous of the phone;
  • 11.5 feel embarrassed and uncomfortable next to the phubbers;
  • 20.4% experience anger and resentment;
  • 47% say that they sometimes experience FOMO;
  • 22% of those polled said that this caused a divorce.

phubbing Phubbing moves people apart. If both people are constantly distracted by the phone, then this is not so scary, but more often, one of them suffers. People affected by phubbing feel especially uncomfortable during rare meetings with friends. This attitude causes a complex of negative emotions and feelings: resentment, disappointment, sadness, irritation, a sense of uselessness. Phubbing has led to the fact that people have forgotten how to fully relax and communicate with each other.

It often happens that if the phones are not in hands, then conversations are built around them or social networks. People are less and less interested in each other’s affairs, they don’t notice real emotions, and they see only a stretched smile in photographs. A person who is regularly distracted by the phone loses the meaning of the conversation, answers vaguely, superficially. There is no heart-to-heart communication.

Because of phubbing, the level of trust, affiliation, acceptance between the participants in the conversation decreases. The psychological, non-verbal, emotional connection is weakening. With a gadget, any meeting takes on a formal and business character, even if it is a date of a couple in love.

For some people, phubbing becomes a real problem. They update social networks from time to time, although nothing changes. Phubbers are afraid to miss a more interesting offer. Fear of missing something important and anxieties that make people look at the phone over and over again gradually exhaust the person.

How to Stop Phubbing

So, what to do if you can’t leave your phone alone at least for 5 minutes? Here are working tips from sweetydate.com.

1. Limit your time

If you really want to stay with your partners or friends, turn their attention to this problem and specify the time when laptops and tablets have to be turned off, and the smartphone is put into silent mode. During this period, all your attention is concentrated on communicating with each other – discussing the film, the last trip to friends, or just dreams of a wonderful future. Perhaps you will want to take your smartphone in your hands at first, but don’t give phubbing a single chance. You can start from one evening a week and gradually switch to the daily “schedule.”

2. Don’t use smartphones and other gadgets during personal communication

Looking in a smartphone during a personal conversation is a bad idea. If you have an urgent need to answer a call or write someone a message, then first apologize to the other person, and then do it as soon as possible.

3. Never hold a smartphone in your hands and don’t put it on a table when eating

We have a great solution for phubbing people. You can put a gadget on a table only if all those people you are with have previously agreed to put phones in one place. And the first person who wants to take it will be punished somehow, for example, he/she has to sing a song in karaoke or treat all friends with cocktails.

4. Don’t pick up a gadget immediately after you wake up

Many phubbers immediately look in a smartphone to check mail, visit social networks, etc., just waking up and opening their eyes. Stop phubbing! First, you need to wake up normally, have breakfast, tune in to a productive working day, and then you can get into the Internet.

5. Talk more with your close people

The lack of lively communication not only destroys good relationships but also weakens the speech apparatus (people who use their voice a little, speak quietly and slurred over time). You can quickly get rid of phubbing by contrasting it with its main enemy – live communication. Even if you ask, “Honey, what will we give your mom for a birthday?” and hear the answer, “Tuesday,” don’t get angry. But sit down opposite your partner, ask him or her to put off the phone and discuss this issue with you. Stop attempts to simplify everything like, “I’ll look for some present on the Internet and send you a link.”

stop phubbing around6.Have family traditions

Spending evenings with a smartphone on the couch is harmful not only for relationships but also for health. So, stop phubbing around. You and your partner should have some traditions that you can’t miss. It can be cooking dinner, doing sports, or taking pictures in the park. The main thing is to do this without smartphones. This advice seems banal and simple only at first glance. In fact, when both “patients” in the family suffer from phubbing, they will have to make twice as much effort.

7. Don’t repeat after phubbing friends/relatives

How to stop phubbing? If all your friends/relatives don’t get smartphones out of their hands, you should tell them directly that you don’t like it. Instead of doing what they all do, try to find an interesting topic for conversation: ask questions that interest you, tell about your plans, discuss a new film, performance, song of a popular singer, tell about your plans for the near future, etc.

8. Never take gadgets to the bedroom

Built-in alarms are a very convenient thing, but then you either need to use your smartphone only as an alarm clock or buy a mechanical version of the alarm clock. Many phubbers, reading these tips, might think that they are required to abandon innovative technologies once and for all. This is not so! Nobody asks you to throw away smartphones, tablets, computers, and other equipment, go into the forest, and become a hermit. If used wisely, they will bring many benefits. Remember that all technologies were invented to work for people, and not to enslave them.

“Victims” of phubbing often look for a problem in themselves, “Am I so boring? Is the phone more interesting to me?” Because of this, self-esteem decreases, self-doubt arises. Yes, people can really be bored being with each other, but this doesn’t mean that someone is bad. These people are just not on the same page. But it makes no sense to hide in the phone. You need to admit the fact. Moreover, phubbing often disguises relationship problems. The attitude to phubbing can be different. But only you must decide whether you need it or not. It is worth changing something in your life. Think about whether this is your case. Maybe it’s time to figure everything out?

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