Phubbing (phone snubbing) happens more in the bedroom than when socialising with friends



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Some social situations are more conducive to phubbing than others.
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Yeslam Al-Saggaf, Charles Sturt University

Have you ever been around people who spend more time looking at their phone than they do at you? Then you know what it feels like to be “phubbed” – and you’re probably guilty of doing it yourself.

Phubbing is the practice of looking at your phone while in the presence of others. And as smartphones become ever more entwined in the everyday lives of Australians, phubbing has become so common that many people think it’s normal.

People phub during work meetings, while socialising with friends at cafés, while having dinner with their family, while attending lectures and even while in bed.

But how common is phubbing in Australia? And in what social situations is it most prevalent?

To find out, we surveyed 385 people and asked them how often they look at their smartphones while having face-to-face conversations with others. They recorded their answers as: never, rarely, sometimes, often, or all the time.




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We’re more likely to phub family than colleagues

We found 62% of those surveyed reported looking at their smartphone while having a face-to-face conversation with another person or persons.

Gender made no difference to how often someone phubbed. Neither did geography, with people living in the city and the country phubbing equally as often. But younger people phubbed others more frequently than older people. And people phubbed their partners most of all.

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/jpObh/2/

The study also revealed smartphone users phubbed their parents and children more frequently than they phubbed their colleagues at work, clients and customers. These findings suggest a professional attitude towards using the smartphone in the workplace.

We phub more in bed than when socialising

Some social situations are more conducive to phubbing than others.

We found people phubbed each other more when commuting together on public transport, during work coffee or lunch breaks, when in bed with their partners, when travelling together in private transport and when socialising with friends.

People were less likely to phub others during meetings, during meal times with family, and during lectures and classes.

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/rCAbg/1/




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Boredom isn’t the main reason people phub

We were interested in finding out whether boredom plays a role in phubbing behaviour so we asked our survey participants to complete an eight-item Boredom Proneness Scale.

Sample questions included “I find it hard to entertain myself” and “many things I have to do are repetitive and monotonous.”

We found boredom did explain why people phub, but that the influence of boredom is very small. Other factors, such as the “fear of missing out” (FOMO), lack of self-control, and internet addiction may play a more important role in phubbing behaviour.

The effect of phubbing depends on the situation

Looking at the smartphone while a person is having a face-to-face conversation with another person is a relatively new phenomenon. While it may violate some people’s expectations, it’s no simple task to categorise the behaviour as good or bad.

One theory suggests that when people get phubbed they might judge the behaviour according to how important the phubber is to them. For example, phubbing among friends is probably more acceptable than a subordinate phubbing a manager during a work-related meeting.




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While that might be good news for the workforce, it’s not great for close relationships. Phubbing partners can make them feel less important and this can decrease the satisfaction with the relationship. In the case of children, especially those at a vulnerable age, phubbing them can make them feel unloved, which can have a detrimental effect on their well-being.

Our findings can be used to inform programs, policies and campaigns that aim at addressing the phubbing phenomenon.

It’s clear from the research smartphone users are more likely to phub those who are closely related to them than those less close to them. So next time you get phubbed when you are out with someone, take it as a compliment – it could mean they consider you a close friend.


The research discussed in this article will be published in the Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS).The Conversation

Yeslam Al-Saggaf, Associate Professor, Charles Sturt University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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MISSING MY FRIEND


My friend died in late June and I still find it difficult to believe that she is gone. It’s probably more likely that I simply miss her I think. In circumstances like this you tend to think about an event or events that took place in the past – a special happening or something like that.

Something that happened with Bec has been on my mind the last couple of days. Every so often Bec would feel a little down – sometimes more than a little down. On this particular occasion she was feeling more than a little worthless – as though she had no value and no reason to feel she had any.

Now as usual, she was wide of the mark on this particular subject. Bec had heaps of value and worth, and I often thought she had more than I. But that is something that was known only to Bec and I – the whole worth and value discussion/s. I have no intention of revealing all of that, but enough to say we had plenty of discussions revolving around the subject which we both appreciated and dare I say it, valued.

So there was this one time when I had been speaking to her on the phone and via text messages – and it was fairly late at night. Bec was a little down and I didn’t want her to stay that way so I thought a little about what I could do. I had a history with Bec of doing silly little things to cheer her up, etc. So this sort of thing wasn’t unusual. Anyhow, I came up with a plan and set about to put it in place.

I knew Bec was going to work the next day so I wanted to do something that she would discover when she headed off to work – to make sure she went to work much happier.

So what could I do???  Well, I collected a whole heap of short garden stakes and made a whole heap of little signs that I tacked to the stakes. Each sign had a little message on it about what I valued about Bec and how much worth I felt she had. There must have been about 30 signs I suppose.

So off I drove to Bec’s place with my signs. Bec’s car was parked on the street as usual and her bedroom window was on the side of the house nearest the car. So the mission had to be a quiet one.

I parked the car up the street a bit and quietly wandered down to Bec’s place with the signs. I then placed them from the gate down to her car, so she would have to see each of them – all over the place on the way down to the car.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short – Bec of course found the signs the next morning and rang me, thanking me for the gesture. It was only a silly little thing that I did, but it meant a lot to Bec and she held onto the signs, keeping them under her bed. It just gave her something to always look at when she felt a little down about her value and worth.

I know it was nothing extremely special and it didn’t cost a lot of money – but it doesn’t always have to be about money. It was about how I felt about Bec and she really valued that. It was just something special that we both shared and always remembered. It meant something to us both, as did other similar experiences that we shared – working both ways.

I miss her.