Though communication may be the key to a successful relationship, there is too much of a good thing.
Mobile devices have become a central part of the way that we communicate on a daily basis, but we have become so heavily focused on these screens that we have started to give preference to those gadgets over the people who are actually with us in the present.
In fact, it is common enough that a new term, “phubbing” has been coined to describe the behavior.
Phubbing occurs when users of mobile devices choose to ignore the people who are present with them, in order to be able to pay attention to their mobile devices, whether it be to send or receive a text, make or receive a call, check email, surf the web, or use an app. This has reached the point that many are starting to feel that this part of our daily routines is beginning to threaten our social lives.
Psychologists and sociologists focused on human behavior are taking a greater interest in mobile devices and phubbing.
There has been an increasing amount of study with regards to the impact of mobile technology on human development, as well as on whether or not it is leading to a breakdown in the current social order that has been the standard of human society.
Initially, it can definitely appear as though an increasing trend toward giving priority to mobile technology over friends, family, and other companions in social settings is antisocial and potentially harmful to the relationship among those individuals. However, while there is a large and growing camp that believes that phubbing is quite harmful to people, there is another side of the coin.
Some believe that the phenomenon of phubbing is actually rather benign and that it is not immensely different from giving attention to any of dozens activities that became popular before smartphones were ever even invented. Watching television and movies in groups, going to the theater, and other common distractions are examples of ignoring the people around you in favor of something else.
What makes this different is that mobile devices are a distraction used by one individual and are not shared commonly by the group. It is clear that this will continue to be a focus for researchers for as long as these devices remain ever with their users.