As technology continues to become ever-present in our lives — with wearable tech, voice-activated assistants and, of course, the smart phone — one word that has recently found its way into the dictionary is: ‘phubbing’
Described as: ‘avoiding someone with whom you don’t want to interact by pretending to interact with your phone’, is ‘phubbing’ bad manners or simply something we should accept as part and parcel of the modern age we live in?
A study by Varoth Chotpitayasunondh, Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Kent, found that participants who were ‘phubbed’ in the experiments experienced low self-esteem, as well as negative moods and feelings towards the person they were supposed to be engaging with. Chotpitayasunondh was inspired to research these effects after a recent trip to Thailand with his friends which left him feeling as though the group had paid more attention to their phones than each other. The study also revealed that those who regularly ‘phubbed’ others, they began to view the action as normal and expected others to do the same to them.
Whilst Chotpitayasunondh states that ‘phubbing’ is something far more common in Asian countries than here in Europe, it’s a safe bet to say that we’ve all been exposed to the ‘phub’ in varying degrees.
It’s becoming ever more apparent that a greater deal of caution should be exercised over our smart phone usage, especially in the company of others. If you are concerned that your child is learning bad habits at an early age and think they would benefit from a course focusing on face-to-face interactions in formal and informal situations, as well as learning best practice on social media, we have spaces remaining for our two open courses at the end of this month: Young Achiever Essentials for ages 15-18 and Professional Finishing School 18-22.
Find out how Hope, a former Young Achiever student, overcame her anxiety here.
Listen to Chotpitayasunondh talk to the BBC World service about ‘phubbing’ here.