What the heck is Phubbing and how does it affect your family?!

July 3, 2023

First and foremost, you might be asking yourself: "What the heck is phubbing?" It's a term that has gained traction in the last few years and, believe it or not, has a profound impact on our relationships, particularly when it comes to our children.

Phubbing, a portmanteau of 'phone' and 'snubbing', refers to the act of disregarding someone in a social setting by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device. In essence, it's the action of snubbing others for your phone - choosing your phone over the people around you. This might sound familiar, as many of us are guilty of this behavior in varying degrees.

The impact of phubbing has recently come to the fore due to a new study that examined the relationship between parental phubbing and cell phone addiction in junior high school students. The research indicates that parental phubbing can have a substantial impact on their children's phone use and can even lead to phone addiction in pre-teens and teenagers.

This study highlights an important point - our actions, even the seemingly insignificant ones, can have profound impacts on those around us. As parents, our relationship with technology can directly influence our children's habits, shaping their behaviors and, in this case, potentially fueling unhealthy dependencies on technology. By repeatedly choosing our devices over our children, we may subtly communicate that our phones are more important, leading to feelings of social exclusion in our children.

In a world where technology increasingly permeates our lives, it's essential to set boundaries and ensure we use these tools in a manner that doesn't hinder our relationships. As the study concludes, there's a need for parents to be aware of their phubbing behaviors and to make a conscious effort to engage more with their children.

So, the next time you reach for your phone in the middle of a family dinner or while spending time with loved ones, remember the term 'phubbing' and consider the impact it could be having on others. Understanding this phenomenon can be the first step to understanding how we are perceived and received by those around us.

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