P-phubbing ruining relationships and leading people to depression


So common has the act of being engrossed on one’s phone even while sitting with friend(s) become that the term ‘phubbing’ was coined in 2013 to describe it! Researchers from Baylor University in Texas have now discovered that as people are getting increasingly addicted to their handheld devices, p-phubbing instead is on the rise.

P-phubbing is derived from three words, mainly “phone” and “snubbing” since the act obviously meant snubbing the people around while you check your social networks, messages, etc. The extra “p” stands for the partner who is thus ignored.

As most smartphone users are getting used to fiddling restlessly over their mobiles at the oddest of hours and weirdest of places, a study pointed out that it was also leading to ruined relationships and leading people to depression.

Business professors James Roberts and Meredith David from Baylor University carried out a series of surveys to find out whether p-phubbing (or partner phubbing) was a real thing, and if yes, whether it was causing any problems.

The two analyzed data collected from over 150 male and female respondents who were in relationships, and asked them about their phubbing related ordeals.

They got responses like “My partner glances at his/her phone when talking to me”, “My partner uses his or her phone when we are out together”, and “During a typical mealtime that my partner and I spend together, my partner pulls out and checks his/her phone”.

The subjects were also asked to measure their relationship styles and general happiness levels.The researchers saw a strong correlation between p-phubbing and the level of satisfaction out of that relationship. This was intensified if the person being ignored had what’s known as an “anxious attachment style”.

They concluded that “the institution of marriage (and romantic relationships in general) is under attack” from p-phubbing not without adding that perhaps the people who are in unhappy relationships are resorting to p-phubbing more often.