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Are You a Phubber? The Silent Snub Killing Relationships.


We've all been there. Mid-bite of a cherished meal, eyes flicking down to the tempting glow of a screen. A friend's story unfolds, but our thumbs tap out a reply to a distant acquaintance. This, my friends, is the insidious dance of phubbing: the act of snubbing someone in favor of your phone. It's a modern-day plague, a silent thief of presence, and it's silently eating away at the very fabric of our relationships.


But phubbing is more than just a minor social faux pas. It's a potent cocktail of disconnection, disrespect, and a dash of digital addiction. Studies paint a bleak picture:


  • A lonely abyss: Imagine your partner's eyes glazing over as they reach for their phone mid-sentence. A 2016 study confirms the chilling reality: being phubbed by your romantic partner triggers feelings of loneliness and depression, worse even than outright neglect.

  • The satisfaction chasm: Remember that joyous anniversary dinner? Turns out, phubbing during romantic outings erodes relationship satisfaction like a corrosive tide. A 2014 study revealed a stark correlation between phubbing and plummeting levels of trust and happiness within couples.

  • Empathy's disappearing act: Even a silent phone on the table casts a cold shadow. A 2018 study found that phubbing, even without active engagement, diminishes empathy and emotional connection, leaving a chilling vacuum in its wake.




Ouch. The evidence is clear: phubbing isn't just rude, it's relationship kryptonite.  And I will be the first one to admit I am guilty of phubbing from time to time. I am working on reducing my habit and tendency to have my phone with me at all times and put the tips below to good use. So, how do we break free from its clutches and rebuild the bridges it burns?


  • Phone-Free Fortresses: Imagine a dinner table, a sanctuary carved out of the digital jungle. Designate spaces like this, phone-free havens where conversation reigns supreme. Tuck those devices away, lock them up if need be, and reclaim the joy of uninterrupted presence.

  • Conscious Connection Crafters: Be an architect of genuine connection. Actively listen, make eye contact like it's a precious gemstone, and ask those soul-stirring questions that ignite conversation. Remember, the person in front of you is more than a notification, they're a story waiting to be heard.

  • Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: We're all susceptible to the siren song of screens. Monitor your own phubbing tendencies, especially around loved ones. Gently nudge each other back to reality when attention strays, and celebrate mindful moments together.

  • Presence: The Ultimate Gift: Remember the forgotten art of being present? Savor the sights, sounds, and smells of the world around you. Notice the flicker of emotions on a loved one's face, the subtle language of body language. Reconnect with the magic of shared experience, unfiltered by the digital lens.


Phubbing may be a modern monster, but we don't have to be its captives. By acknowledging its power and taking actionable steps, we can reclaim the lost art of connection. Let's make a pact to phub less, connect more, and rediscover the magic of being fully present in the moments that truly matter. After all, the faces in front of us deserve more than a passing glance on a screen. They deserve the gift of our undivided attention, our genuine presence, and the echo of laughter that only real connection can produce.


So, put down your phone, my friends. Let's break free from the phubbing plague and rebuild the vibrant connections that make life truly worth living. Let's choose presence over pixels, empathy over emojis, and real laughter over digital likes. Together, we can rewrite the narrative and create a world where connection, not phubbing, reigns supreme.

Remember, the silent stories in the eyes across from you are far more captivating than any digital distraction. Choose to see them, hear them, and cherish them. Because in the end, it's not the followers you have, but the connections you forge that truly make a life worth living.


Join the fight against phubbing. Embrace the power of presence. Connect, truly connect, and rediscover the magic of being human.


If you'd like more tips to improve your wellbeing, relationships and life, visit www.joyfulbalancewellbeing.com to read past blogs or schedule a FREE Breakthrough session. We'll discuss your goals and identify where you are stuck. All in a complimentary 60 minute session. No pressure, no commitment other than time diving into you.




Sources for blog:

  • Przybylski, A., & Weinstein, N. (2013). Can you connect online and offline at the same time? Longitudinal effects on loneliness and social well-being.* Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16(5), 380-385.*

  • Roberts, S. B., & David, H. P. (2016). Phubbing hurts: The effects of smartphone use during face-to-face conversations.* Journal of Personal and Social Relationships, 33(8), 1180-1195.*

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