the practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device.”
Do you find yourself spending more quality time with your phone than with your partner? Are you uncontrollably checking for notifications and compulsively scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter feeds while around your SO?
It’s a unique problem to our generation: ignoring the person in front of you because you’re engrossed in your phone. ‘Phubbing’, combines snubbing your partner and your mobile phone.
And it’s this addiction that we have which is ruining our relationships.
The worst thing about phubbing is that we don’t realise that we’re doing it. We ignore our partners mid-conversation, and don’t pay attention. We instinctively glance at our phones to see if anything new pops up. We reach over every-time the notification light flashes. We’re addicted, and we don’t even know it.
Even worse, this lack of full consideration has massive consequences, and ultimately leads to massively decreased satisfaction in our relationships.
Phubbing up the wrong way
New research suggests this pernicious problem is wrecking emotional havoc…
“There are three important connection factors that will give us a sense of satisfaction in our relationships. The first one is accessibility, that you’re both open and listening to one another,” Julie Hart from The Hart Centre tells WHIMN .
“The second is responsiveness, as in you both empathise and try to understand how the other feels, as in ‘get’ each other, and the third is engagement, so you’re both making the time to be fully attentive to each other.
“Phubbing interferes with all three of these important factors so it’s no surprise to me that people are feeling less satisfied with their relationships because they’re just not having quality time.
“And they’re not feeling their partner ‘gets’ them or is there for them because there’s always this constant distraction away.”
How do we change?
We are all guilty of it, so how can we stop phubbing, and start listening? If you recognise that you’re a phubber – or if your partner is – there are some boundaries which can help your relationship.
This starts with adjusting our addiction to our phones, so try these first steps:
💋 Sit down together and set out some rules about phone-free time, where you basically put your phone away somewhere where you can’t hear it, for a full hour every night while you and your partner spend some quality time together.
💋 Make the bedroom a phone-free environment, as well as meal times and when in the car together.
💋 Try having one hour a day without your phone.
💋 Leave the phone behind when you leave the house for a walk
💋 Turn off notifications or the internet for a set period of time – what you don’t know can’t hurt you
So next time you find yourself ignoring your partner, or reaching for your little lump of metal – think again, don’t be a mother phubber, take a breath and bring yourself back to the real world. Even if only for a few minutes.