How many times have you noticed that a person talking with you seems to be distracted either by phone or a PC or on their smartwatch? You feel the person is not completely into a conversation and misses out on details where he or she should have responded properly, and with more attention. This is what is called Phubbing, and it’s tearing apart relationships between families and friends.
What is Phubbing
Tech has become part of our daily life, and we have allowed it to invade places where privacy, attention, and one-to-one person conversation is important. Phones, PCs, Smartwatch anything that you use all the time no matter where you are. We have grown a habit of pulling out our phone in between a conversation, and just keep nodding our heads, looking at the phone, and offering a false presence. This is Phubbing which is disrupting your present-moment, in-person relationships.
What does Phubbing mean for personal relations?
I have been through this, and it went so deep that I started disconnecting from everyone in my family. They felt that I had been ignoring them, which was not my intention but then I was doing it. Every day I reached back home, I would snag my phone, and check things randomly, while lunch, while breakfast, and it became worse. Family and Friend need their time with you, and I was busy exploring social media either for work or fun. So much that it became chronic.
Affects relationships and even your Spouse’s mental health:
Treat this like Passive Smoking. When you don’t give proper time to each other, you feel ignored, and the attention which spouses would have given to each other goes somewhere else. Your partner may experience depression and lower marital satisfaction. This could lead to divorce if taken into a chronic level. A family needs attention, not because they need it, but because they deserve it.
Mental & Physical Health:
It’s resulting in severe neck pains. Keeping your head lowered and looking at the phone all the time, does hurt in the long term. You might not even see it coming. You keep scrolling every time looking at stuff that would never make a lot of difference in real life. The mental concentration goes so high, that you get totally get cut off from the real world, and has lead to accidents.
I have felt even worse. It was not really easy to concentrate on something else or jump into a conversation right after I had kept my phone down.
How to stop Phubbing
Slowly, I realized that my family started giving me less attention because I was busy with myself and they wanted to stay occupied too. When I was seeking time, they were busy, and got the taste of my own medicine. Finally, I had to lay down some rules, and I am sharing them with you:
No Phone Zone at Home
While taking it completely off wasn’t a solution. So we came up with no phone zones. I kept down my phone for the next 3 hrs after I reached home. Gave time to family, talked about various things, daily family stuff, talked with my son about his day, and so on. The phone was kept in another room and was only to be attended to when an important call came in.
I practiced this everywhere and restricted myself to using the phone only for 30 to 40 minutes when at home, and on a regular office day.
No Phone Zone with Friends
This was even tougher, and the only way out was to turn down the ringer completely. Keep the phone in your pocket, and if you feel calls are very important, you can always connect with Bluetooth earphones, and attend to them. I always made sure that when friends meet, everyone kept their phones away. We always tried to not take out the phone at all.
It wasn’t really easy. The habit of holding the phone, checking on it for no reason. I had to fight my sense of expectation of getting a message. It’s as good as fighting the habit of smoking.
Read: 10 Signs that you are addicted to your Phone for sure
Evolve into a No Phone Zone on a personal level
Even if you keep everything aside, Phubbing is hurting you on a personal level. The time we are putting on social media is not really worth it unless it is related to your work, and it’s making you money. Every minute you spend there means, you are not doing something which could help you grow yourself, or learn something new in life. Think about it.
I realized that things were improving after I started following the rules. My concentration was better, and I was communicating well with my family. I was able to discuss topics that I always wanted by losing them during Phubbing.
Use tech when you need to use it. Master it, so you control it.