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'Phubbing' could be seriously damaging your relationship

'Phubbing' could be seriously damaging your relationship

A new study has found that people who experience phubbing are less likely to value their romantic relationships.

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with your partner and all of a sudden, their focus is solely in their phone?

Did it make you feel ignored and maybe even a little bit undervalued?

Well, it turns out you’re not the only one.

Although we use smartphones in all aspects of our lives - from keeping in contact with friends, ordering takeaways, buying clothes or simply scrolling through our social media feeds - this could have a detrimental impact on romantic relationships.

In fact, the increasing use of smartphones has led to a bunch of social problems like smartphone addiction, the fear of being without a phone which is known as nomophobia, plagonomy - which describes he fear that the phone’s battery will run out, and then there's phubbing.

A study published in Psychological Reports after an online survey conducted in Turkey found that people who are experience phubbing are less satisfied with their romantic relationships and see its quality as being lower.

Have you experienced 'phubbing'.
tommaso altamura / Alamy Stock Photo

What exactly is phubbing, you ask? It is defined as when a person turns their attention to their smartphone during a face-to-face interaction.

We've all probably done it at some point and lots of people may not even realising they’ve switched off from the conversation or their surroundings to double-tap a motivational Elon Musk quote or gym inspo on Instagram.

Basically, people who engage in phubbing spend time fully engaged in the content on their phone and not what’s happening around them.

It’s a portmanteau of the words ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing’.

The online survey was conducted by Faruk Caner Yam from Gaziosmanpaşa University in Turkey to analyse the impact phubbing has on relationships and life satisfaction.

'Phubbing' describes when a partner 'snubs' a face-to-face conversations to browse their phone.
Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

A total of 308 people were surveyed of which 78.9 percent were women with an average age of 31 years.

Participants were asked questions on life satisfaction in accordance to the Satisfaction With life Scale, the level of exposure to partner phubbing according to the Partner Pubbing Scale, relationship satisfaction based on the Relationship Assessment Scale and relationship quality based not he Perceived Romantic Relationship Quality Scale.

The results showed that people who were more exposed to phubbing behaviour saw their romantic relationships as lower and were less satisfied in their relationships.

However, phubbing by a partner was not associated with the overall satisfaction with life.

People who experience 'phubbing' are less satisfied with their relationship.
Prostock-studio / Alamy Stock Photo

There are some limitations of the study, like the fact the vast majority of participants were women and the design does not allow of any cause-and-effect conclusions.

That being said, Yam concluded that phubbing is ‘an important risk factor for romantic relationships’ in the study’s conclusion.

The researcher wrote: “The phenomenon of phubbing, which hits individuals’ social interactions, is an important risk factor for romantic relationships. In other words, partners’ being too busy with their smartphones during their romantic relationships harms relationship satisfaction and perceived romantic relationship quality. For this reason, it is very important to raise awareness of couples about the use of smartphones during their romantic relationships.”

Featured Image Credit: Andor Bujdoso / Yuri Arcurs / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Life