Phubbing – it’s a new term coined just last year by an ad agency and dictionary company team in Australia. They convened to actually invent a word for the annoying habit of snubbing someone in favor of their mobile phone.
It’s undeniably rude when someone would rather text and ignore the person they’re with in favor of their cell – and now that rudeness has a name. But a lot of people have yet to hear about this new word, though there are other terms including: frohling, igging, exxing, nothering, bitting, and tellysnub.
Phubbing happens in all kinds of social situations – amongst young people especially. They claim it’s habit, they just can’t help it, and that it’s so prevalent, everybody does it. A new study by Howard University showed that 66-percent of people under age 30 thought texting and emailing while in the presence of company were okay, compared to only 20-percent of those age 51-65. Interestingly enough, men are nearly twice as likely to think this behavior is acceptable at a business lunch. But so many others hate phubbing that there’s now a global “Stop Phubbing” campaign – completely with a website full of tongue-in-cheek statistics.
We Skyped with the 24-year-old pitchman who lives in Melbourne, Australia. His name is Alex Haigh, and he is the ‘Stop Phubbing’ campaign leader. “There’s ‘Stop Phubbing Austria,’ there’s ‘Stop Phubbing Colombia,’ there’s factions being set up all around the globe, which is perhaps a sign that hey, we need to stop this before it gets any worse,” he explained.
And when it comes to your love life, phubbing can definitely take a toll. According to D.C. matchmaker and dating coach Michelle Jacoby, “When you’re on a date, you really need to be completely focused on the person you’re with. And I tell my clients to please leave their phone in the car, which for some people is just not doable. They freak out when they don’t have their phone.”
Perhaps it’s time to bring back conversation for all those phubbers out there.