I recently learned a new word–phubbing. What is phubbing you might ask? It’s snubbing the person you’re having a conversation with to look at your phone. I am as guilty as anyone (and maybe even more so) of phubbing friends and acquaintances. I have even done some experimenting while I’m watching TV and looking at my phone. When that is happening, I am NOT paying attention to the TV and miss whatever was happening and have to rewind to catch up. Unfortunately, we can’t do that to conversations with people. Yet, when we are phubbing them, we are missing whatever it is that they’re saying. While it may well be boring, IT IS RUDE! Put your damn phone away and spend some quality time with others. We truly don’t need to be on our phones 24/7. I’ve mentioned before that I’m really trying to put my phone away and be intentional about my time with family and friends and it really does make a difference.
Sometimes, it even helps you notice that people are–indeed–phubbing you. They think they are paying attention and they think they are participating in the conversation, but they’re not. If you watch, they might smile over a Facebook post or text, they might share it with you (even though it has nothing to do with what your conversation was about), they might wince at some news story that flashed on their phone, but whatever it is they’re doing, they are NOT participating in the conversation with YOU!
I’m pretty sure that sometimes it is my introvert way of not dealing with others. If someone is sitting by themselves obviously looking at their phone, what is the chance of someone stopping and striking up a conversation? Pretty dang slim. So instead of meeting a potential new friend, I am caught up on the last 15 minutes of Facebook posts. That really is not a great trade.
Let’s make a pact to stop phubbing people. When you are having quality time with family or friends, put your phone away. The world won’t end if you don’t even look at it until you need to schedule the next outing with your friends or the next family event. I promise it won’t. And you will survive not looking at your phone for an hour or two. You just might be pleasantly surprised with how much fun a non-phubbing conversation can be. In fact, I recently went to dinner with friends and once everyone was there, phones were miraculously put away. It was a great evening of laughter, catching up, and true friendship–that actually continued for another hour in the parking lot–WITHOUT PHONES! That non-phubbing evening was special to me. Try it and you just may find that time spent NOT phubbing your friends will be special to you too!