People who spend their free time swiping through social media could be causing upset in their relationship, scientists warn.
Research has revealed that ‘phubbing’ – snubbing someone mid conversation by checking your phone – is on the rise.
The study also reveals we check our devices up to 150 times a day.
Almost half of relationships have been negatively impacted by the craze, research has shown.
Phubbing causes problems in relationships by reducing the amount of quality time spent together and making it appear as if the guilty part is losing interests.
Research has revealed that ‘phubbing’, snubbing someone mid conversation by checking your phone, is on the rise as we check our phones up to 150 times a day (stock image)
WHAT IS PHUBBING?
The term phubbing was coined in 2013 and is a portmanteau of the words ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing’.
It is defined as ‘the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention.’
There is even a Stop Phubbing campaign group, which started in Australia and was set up to address the problem.
The website lets people download posters to discourage phubbing at events.
‘The presence and use of cell phones is ever-increasing causing the boundaries that separate our work and other interests from our romantic relationships to become more and more blurred,’ said Dr James Roberts and Dr Meredith David from Baylor University in Texas.
‘As a result, the occurrence of phubbing is nearly inevitable.
‘In fact, from a sample of 143 individuals involved in romantic relationships, seventy per cent responded that cell phones ‘sometimes,’ ‘often,’ ‘very often,’ or ‘all the time’ interfered in their interactions with their partners.’
The researchers surveyed 450 people and found 46 per cent reported being ‘phubbed’ by their partner and 22 per cent had argued as a direct result.
They said phubbing is on the rise because we are more likely to be addicted to our phones than ever before.
People in the UK and US check their phones every four to six minutes, which roughly translates as 150 times a day.
Phubbing undermines relationships by making it appear as if you’re losing interest or that you don’t value your partners time, the researchers said.
Phubbing causes problems in relationships by reducing the amount of quality time spent together and making it appear as if the guilty part is losing interests
SIGNS THAT YOU ARE A PHUBBER
- You always have your phone out when you’re with your partner
- Most of your conversations with you partner are are kept short because you’re often on your phone
- You often stop paying attention to what your partner is saying when your phone buzzes
- You fill gaps in conversation by checking your phone
- When you’re watching TV together, you go on your phone in the ad break
- You take calls that aren’t urgent when you’re spending time with your partner
Source: Julie Hart, The Hart Centre
‘There are three important connection factors that will give us a sense of satisfaction in our relationships,’ Julie Hart, a relationship expert from The Hart Centre in Australia, told Whimn.
‘The first one is accessibility, that you’re both open and listening to one another.
‘The second is responsiveness, as in you both empathise and try to understand how the other feels, as in ‘get’ each other, and the third is engagement, so you’re both making the time to be fully attentive to each other.
‘Phubbing interferes with all three of these important factors so it’s no surprise to me that people are feeling less satisfied with their relationships because they’re just not having quality time, and they’re not feeling their partner ‘gets’ them or is there for them because there’s always this constant distraction away.’
Dr Hart added there are a number of common signs that could indicated that you are a phubber.
These include checking your phone in the advert breaks while watching TV with your partner and taking non-urgent calls when the two of you are spending quality time together.
Those guilty of phubbing can save their relationship by introducing some simple boundaries, she said.
‘Sit down together and set out some rules about phone-free time, where you basically put your phone away somewhere where you can’t hear it, for a full hour every night while you and your partner spend some quality time together,’ she told Whimn.
‘Most people would be amazed at what a dedicated hour a day of phone-free time can do for their relationship over time.’