Phubbing is bad for us all

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Do you know what phubbing is? The word phubbing is a a combination of the words phone and snubbing. It is a term to describe the habit of snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone. We all know how often that happens these days. I am also a phubber sometimes. Chances are you are also a phubber. How do we stop this bad behavior?

Phubbing is one of those new words to describe a modern phenomenon. What if I told you twenty five years ago that twenty five years later you would own a small electronic device that you can’t live without? You will take that device everywhere. You carry it through your house and even take it to the toilet. You will have breakfast, lunch and dinner with it. At night it lies on your nightstand. It is the last thing you look at before you go to sleep and the first thing you grab when you get up in the morning. You will have more contact with that little device than with the people around you. If I would have told you that twenty five years ago you would probably say that I was crazy. That would never happen to you! Right?

What if I told you twenty five years ago that twenty five years later you would own a small electronic device that you can’t live without?

My first mobile phone

My first experience with phubbing was probably two decades ago. I still remember my first mobile phone. A device, about the size of a small brick that I bought twenty years ago, back in 1998. I got it because I was driving home from work the other day and my car got a flat tyre. It was late, dark and I had to call somebody for help. I needed a phone and I couldn’t find one. That was the exact moment I decided I would get a mobile phone. Only for emergencies like that.

When I went to the pub that weekend and my friends saw my phone, they all started laughing. What do you need that for? Who are you going to call? We’re all here! A few months later they all had mobile phones and they were calling and texting each other like crazy. Also when we were all together in the pub.

Today I was having lunch with my colleague at work. We were eating and talking. At the table next to us were five young people sitting together. Also having lunch with each other. Well, they were sitting together and having lunch but…not with each other. There was no talking. They were chewing their food while looking at their smartphone screens. Sometimes I saw one of them smile, I guess because he or she was reading something amusing.

They were phubbing And it made me a little sad

How often am I phubbing?

They were phubbing. And it made me a little sad. It also made me wonder how often I was phubbing. Am I a phubber? I guess I am. Whenever I am with other people and I feel my phone buzzing, I take it out and check the screen to see what’s going on. When I am waiting somewhere in a line with other people I grab my phone to read the news or something. When I have a meeting I put my phone on the table in front of me. Why do I do that?

I vow to stop my phubbing. Join me! Be aware of your phubbing and try to minimize it. I hope twenty five years from now we will look back and we will laugh at our ridiculous behavior.

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