MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Like it or not, you’ve probably been “phubbed.”
Phubbing or phone snubbing is ignoring someone you are talking to because you are looking at your cell phone.
“Our phones have made us feel more detached and more disconnected. We have a thousand friends on Facebook but we’re not paying attention to the 10 people around us,” said psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician Dr. Daniel Bober.
Dr. Bober agrees with recent studies that phubbing is something that negatively impacts our relationships.
“Well, there’s been some recent studies, like in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, which showed that the quality of our relationships is suffering. So people in the bedroom, people at the dinner table feel more cut off, they feel lower self-esteem, they feel more depressed, they feel like they aren’t getting the quality out of their relationships that they had before phones were there,” said Dr. Bober.
For some being on their phone is their job and means of income.
Dacia Wiegant, senior national sales director for Mary Kay who is also a wife and mother, said she’s guilty of phubbing.
“My phone is my entire business, that’s a place where I can maximize my time and I can encourage people. I don’t feel like I’m missing out and I can really be efficient but at the same time it can be a double-edged sword,” she said.
And it’s not just a professional distraction.
Alexandra VanRomondt, a wife and mother, said she’s guilty of phubbing when she’s watching her kids.
“I’ll be out there, sitting them, watching them play but I have my phone and I’m on it,” she said. “So you’re not completely present and they sense that and they feel that.”
Ignoring those around you to scroll through your phone may not always be intentional but the effects are very real to those you are phubbing. More than likely you have experienced this while out for food with friends says Wiegant and it comes off a certain way.
“Absolutely rude. When you’re sitting at lunch with someone or someone’s trying to tell you something and you’re looking down at your phone, it’s obnoxious. You maybe go to look, you see you got a text, but you’re at lunch or you’re at dinner but it’s rude, you don’t mean to be.” she said.
So how does one break such a bad habit?
Here is some practical advice from the women that are learning how to put the phone down.
“I took Facebook off my phone and as a result, I kind of stopped going on it. We have Sunday family night, where no one is allowed to be on their phone, no one is allowed to have it out, or the computer, or the iPads, or anything. It’s a small step but it’s something you don’t miss as much when it’s away from you,” says VanRomondt.
Wiegant who has to use her phone for business takes a different approach.
“If you’ve got to check something go to the bathroom, or when someone’s away from the table, check it, but not when someone’s staring at you and like talking about something important. I think it’s really important to, you know, in Mary Kay we teach communication, you look them in the eyes and you smile and nod and you appreciate that person.”
If all fails treat others the way you would want to be treated. In a current world where we are glued to our phone, take time to unplug and really be present with those around you.