What is phubbing, and is it ruining your relationships?

what is phubbing and it ruining your relationships screen shot 2015 10 03 at 3 45 35 pm
Hey, you. Are you cheating on your friends with your phone? If so, it’s got a name and, reportedly, serious side effects.

According to new research, the act of phubbing, or phone snubbing, is a very real epidemic in the United States, and aside from being rude and inconsiderate, may also come with a few more insidious results.

As per results published in the journal “Computers in Human Behavior,” not only can ignoring your partner in favor of your phone damage your relationship, it can also lead to depression and lower rates of overall life satisfaction for the, um, phubbee. So put down your phone and start paying attention to the people sitting right next to you.

In conducting their research, Professor James Roberts of Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business and his team surveyed 453 adults across the country in two separate experiments. In the first, 308 participants were asked to identify “phubbing” behaviors, asking respondents questions like, “My partner places his or her cellphone where they can see it when we are together,” and “My partner glances at his/her cellphone when talking to me.” The answers to these questions helped researchers develop a 9-item scale indicating the occurrence of phubbing.

The second experiment, which involved 145 adults, delved deeper into phubbing’s effects, as couples were asked to identify which of the behaviors they’d experienced within their relationships, and then how secure they felt in their relationships, how satisfied they were, and how anxious and/or depressed they felt as a result of their partners’ behaviors.

In a rather “well duh” sort of conclusion, Roberts found that “when people perceived their partners to be phubbers — they spend more time paying attention to their phones — that created conflict in the relationship.” What is surprising, however, is the frequency with which this sort of behavior occurs. According to survey results, 46.3 percent of respondents said they’d experienced phubbing at the hands of their significant other, and 22.6 percent admitted that phubbing led to problems in the relationship.

And even if it’s as seemingly inconsequential as looking down at your phone every once in a while, study results suggest that these few seconds start to weigh heavily on your partner’s mind, eventually contributing to an overall feeling of dissatisfaction, or perhaps inadequacy, within the relationship.

In an interview with Yahoo Health, Roberts noted, “We found that the ones that reported higher partner phubbing fought more with their partner and were less satisfied with their relationship than those who reported less phubbing.” In fact, 37 percent of survey respondents said they felt depressed at least some of the time, and much of this, authors believe, can be attributed to our collective addictions to our phones.

If you’re curious as to whether you or your partner is guilty of phubbing, you can try to answer the following questions used in Roberts’ study. But be warned, you may not like what you discover.

  • During a typical mealtime together, my partner pulls out and checks his/her cellphone.
  • My partner places his or her cellphone where they can see it when we are together.
  • My partner keeps his or her cellphone in their hand when he or she is with me.
  • When my partner’s cellphone rings or beeps, he/she pulls it out even if we are in the middle of a conversation.
  • My partner glances at his/her cellphone when talking to me.
  • During leisure time that my partner and I are able to spend together, my partner uses his/her cellphone.
  • My partner uses his or her cellphone when we are out together.
  • If there is a lull in our conversation, my partner will check his or her cellphone.

And if this makes you angry enough to join a movement, check out stopphubbing.com, where you’ll find fascinating information not only on phubbing and its effects, but also on how to put an end to the pandemic.

Emerging Tech

This DIY kit teaches more than coding; it teaches you how to build a smartphone

Want a crash course in coding and electronics, with something to show for it at the end? The MAKERphone is a DIY mobile phone that you can build for yourself. And, yes, it actually works.
Cars

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…
Mobile

How many? The Samsung Galaxy A9 has 4 camera lenses on the back

Samsung's new Galaxy A9 phone, fresh for 2018, has four camera lenses on the back. It's no gimmick either, as each performs a unique function, making the phone a versatile camera to have in your pocket.
Mobile

Montblanc’s $995 Summit 2 watch stays on your wrist for longer between charges

Montblanc has taken the wraps off of the new Montblanc Summit 2 -- the first watch to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The watch features a premium design and Google's Wear OS.
Mobile

Preapproval for iPhone Upgrade Program now available for iPhone XR

Apple took the wraps off of its new set of iPhones, including the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the new iPhone XR. The iPhone XR is being offered as the "affordable" iPhone, and it's a little different than the more expensive models.
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…
Cars

Double your charging speed with Nomad’s Tesla Model 3 wireless charger

Nomad's wireless charger for the Tesla Model 3 fits the EV's charging dock exactly. If you plug both of the Nomad's into the Model 3's two front USB ports you can charge two smartphones quickly or one phone twice as fast.
Mobile

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Mobile

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.
Product Review

If Huawei sells the Mate 20 Pro in the U.S., Samsung needs to watch its back

Huawei knocked it out of the park with the P20 Pro earlier this year, and it’s looking to do the same again with the Mate 20 Pro. The Mate series has traditionally been sold in the U.S., so will Americans finally be able to get a taste?
Product Review

You’d be crazy to dismiss the Huawei Mate 20 as an amateur

Traditionally, Huawei’s Mate series of phones has been a little staid. That started to change with the Mate 10 Pro, and now both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro have come along to turn our heads. Here’s a look at the standard Mate 20.
Mobile

Mate 20 range now includes new 20 X model with huge 7.2-inch display

Huawei has released the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and Mate 20 X. With all new Kirin processors, advanced A.I. brains, and an amazing triple camera, here's absolutely everything you need to know about the new Mate 20 series.