Phubbing – a disease of gadget abuse

Phubbing is a phenomenon that has recently appeared in the modern world, such a disease when a person is constantly distracted by his smartphone in the process of real communication. Everywhere – on the street, in public transport, in cafes – you can see people who are almost constantly sitting on their smartphone.

The emergence of the term and modernity

For the first time about this phenomenon became known in 2012. The term “fubbing” is derived from the English words phone (phone) and snubbing (neglect), which literally means “neglect of a partner in favor of the phone.” You can often see how a person, while communicating with colleagues, now and then interrupts to answer a message on the phone, scroll through the news feed or view the latest photos of friends. If such a situation occurs during a family dinner, a walk with a spouse, or other pastime with relatives, it is called pfabbing from “partner phubbing”.

A similar phenomenon is observed all the time, more than 70% of people are susceptible to this “disease”, and it continues to rapidly gain momentum. It is less and less common to see people engaged in an interesting conversation in restaurants and cafes. Usually they sit in their gadgets without getting out, only occasionally interrupting for short remarks.

Phubbing is most developed among teenagers. More than 85% of today’s youth prefer electronic messages to real communication. Nowadays, it is easier for parents to communicate with a child online than to extract even a word from him. Modern teenagers’ companies are more like a random gathering of people, each of whom is busy with his own business.

Many people do not consider phubbing a problem, but doctors are sounding the alarm: excessive use of gadgets can lead to all sorts of diseases, from visual impairment to serious mental disorders.


Scientists believe that one of the causes of phubbing is the so-called FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome, which translates as “fear of missing out”. People are afraid to be out of the center of events, to miss important news or events. This leads to a constant desire to check the news feed and respond to messages. Conventionally, people subject to phubbing are divided into four groups:

  • The first type is people who, during a conversation, put the phone between themselves and the interlocutor in order to be able to see the notification at any time;
  • People of the second type constantly hold the phone in their hands, even when it is inconvenient or inappropriate;
  • The third type – constantly looks at the phone even in the process of communication;
  • Type four – a person uses a pause in a conversation in order to check the phone.


Phubbing – the reason for the breakup?

This phenomenon appeared quite recently, so it has not yet been fully studied. In 2014, a study was conducted in which scientists found that many women are sure that phubbing is one of the main causes of relationship problems. A survey was conducted among men and women of different ages. More than half of the respondents admitted that their partners are regularly distracted by their phone in the process of real communication, which, in their opinion, leads to quarrels and conflicts, up to depression and breakup. By the way, according to the results of research, women are much more likely than men to be distracted by the phone during a conversation.

Antifabbing movement

This movement first appeared in Australia. Alex Haig was one of the first to worry about this problem and created the “Stop phubbing!” Movement, which is designed to limit the constant “freezing” of people on the phone. The author of the idea created a group on Facebook and was quite surprised to receive responses from all over the world, because recently this issue has become more and more relevant. The movement does not call on people to completely abandon the use of gadgets, because they still help a lot in life, it only asks to pay more attention to relatives and friends and less to smartphones and other modern devices.

Now the movement of “antifabbing” is actively promoted by many entertainment venues. In cafes and restaurants, signs are posted that say: “We do not have free Wi-Fi. Communicate with each other!”

“Gadget addiction” in children

Modern parents often make a big mistake by allowing their child to play with a smartphone, because children get used to an interesting toy very quickly. Gadgets are highly addictive and sometimes it is almost impossible to “tear off” a child from the phone. What to do to prevent this from happening?

First of all, of course, it is worth not giving the child a gadget in their hands for as long as possible. Psychologists and doctors advise not to “acquaint” children with gadgets until the age of four. But if this has already happened, then the best way out is to distract the child with an interesting activity like needlework, or to involve him in helping around the house. You can also limit the time you use electronic toys to a minimum. It is advisable to show this by your own example, at the same time weaning ourselves from constantly “hanging out” on the Internet. Encourage the whole family to have a “gad-free day” once a week, when they can go for a walk in the park, to the mall, to a cafe without phones and tablets.


How to fight?

There are several simple ways to deal with the “disease of gadgets”:

  1. Check all apps on your phone, remove unnecessary ones or turn off notifications from the least important ones. The less the smartphone attracts attention, the easier it will be to wean yourself from constant checks.
  2. Get in the habit of reading the news feed once a day, no more than 15 minutes, otherwise it could take half a day. Unsubscribe from groups that offer a huge amount of unnecessary and not particularly interesting content, which clutters up the feed.
  3. Carefully check your email, remove all unread messages and refuse mailings, which are now actively offered by all sites and services.
  4. If possible, get rid of a huge number of games, many of which require regular visits.
  5. If phubbing is very common in a company, then you can offer a competition: put all the phones on the table, and the first one to pick up the gadget, for example, pays the bill.
  6. Distract yourself from the gadget with interesting activities, start a hobby that will take away the time that is usually spent on a smartphone.
  7. Walk more often, go shopping, chat with friends in the real world.
  8. Leaving the house for a short time (to the store or for a walk with the dog), do not take the device with you, because nothing bad will happen in half an hour.
  9. While at home, do not carry your smartphone with you everywhere, let it lie in a certain place
  10. Permanent is needed. Every time you reach for your smartphone, you should remind yourself that there are many more interesting and useful things around than reading the news feed.

This may sound funny…

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