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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press


Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Do you know what phubbing is?

It’s the practice of purposely ignoring someone in a social situation in order to pay attention to one’s mobile device instead.

Phubbing = “phone” + “snubbing”

Phubbing is not about getting a notification and glancing over at your phone. It is about choosing to focus on one’s phone instead of talking to a person directly, according to a 2016 research study (

While technology is meant to improve communication, phubbing (predictably) has negative consequences for communication between people. It can affect interaction and feelings of personal wellbeing.

The term was coined in 2012 in Australia.

There’s phubbing. A phubber. A phubbee.

The phubber is a “person who starts snubbing someone in a social situation by paying attention to his/her smartphone instead,” according to the report.

When you have a meeting with a phubber, you (the phubbee) won’t soon forget it.

Is it rude? Yes.

Research also shows that phubbing is a serious problem.

Phubbing can have a mega negative impact on relationships – whether at work, school, or home.

Being phubbed can trigger negative emotions like anxiety and depression or lower self-esteem (2022 study:

Researchers have shown that the act of phubbing may be a result of addiction or FOMO or self-discipline. Or, it could simply be the person telling you – and anyone else in the meeting – that s.he is simply not interested in communicating with you.

Don’t be a phubber. Be an active listener instead.

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