Phubbing, a.k.a. phone snubbing, is the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention. Although the act is super common, you might catch yourself by phubbing from time to time. And even though it feels pretty harmless, a new study found some concerning effects on your social environment.
Researchers synthesized findings from 170 other studies, to discover the impact of phubbing on the people close to us, like friends, family and colleagues. Phubbed children were found to be more likely to become addicted to their smartphones, and displayed hostile behaviour online (like bullying). Phubbed partners often felt jealous and worried their partner might be pursuing someone else romantically. This intensified their anxiety and depression and lowered their wellbeing. And phubbed employees were likely to feel socially excluded. It lowered their motivation and even threatened their self-esteem.
With a growing body of research pointing to the addictive and sometimes harmful nature of our everyday digital gadgets, it’s no wonder a growing group of people actively tries to equip themselves with light phones, WIFI disruptors and digital detoxes.