Do you phub? Most of us have never even heard of the word – but scientists claim that ‘phubbing’ can kill your relationship.
The word – coined in 2013 – refers to ‘snubbing’ a partner to look at a smartphone, and is becoming an epidemic. Researchers from Baylor University, Texas researchers say that the practice is incredibly common – and more damaging than people realise. It can also lead to depression, the researchers believe.
The researchers interviewed 145 people and found that 46% had been ‘phubbed’ by their partner – and that 37% felt depressed. Study lead author Dr James A. Roberts said, ‘What we discovered was that when someone perceived that their partner phubbed them, this created conflict and led to lower levels of reported relationship satisfaction.
‘These lower levels of relationship satisfaction, in turn, led to lower levels of life satisfaction and, ultimately, higher levels of depression.’ Co-author Dr Meredith David said, ‘In everyday interactions with significant others, people often assume that momentary distractions by their cell phones are not a big deal’.
‘However, our findings suggest that the more often a couple’s time spent together is interrupted by one individual attending to his/her cellphone, the less likely it is that the other individual is satisfied in the overall relationship.’