Have you ever observed others glued to their phone, couples sitting out at dinner looking at their individual phones, your children irritable and angry when they are separated from their phone or they lose “bars” (bars is cell phone reception)? The new term is PHUBBING or Phone Snubbing.
How many of us are attached to our cell phones, do not look up when someone is talking or are constantly clutching our phones as if we were Linus with a security blanket. How many of us wonder why our clients balk when we ask them to digitally detox and how many of us are willing to do the same? Try taking a trip to Yosemite or Big Sur where cell phone reception is sparse and you can reconnect with nature and yourself.
Here is an interesting study from Baylor University, “My life has become a major distraction from my cell phone: Partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction among romantic partners” James A. Roberts, Meredith E. David Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, One Bear Place #98007, Waco, TX 76798, USA
The team developed the “Partner Phubbing Scale,” which they believe is significant for demonstrating that phubbing is “conceptually and empirically different” from attitude toward cellphones, partner’s phone use.
The first survey comprising 308 adults helped them develop the nine-item scale of typical smartphone behaviors that participants identified as snubbing indicators. The scale includes statements like “My partner places his or her cellphone where they can see it when we are together” and “My partner glances at his/her cellphone when talking to me.”
In the second survey with 145 respondents, the team used the scale on couples and measured areas such as relationship and life satisfaction, depression, and “anxious attachment” or those experienced by people who feel less secure with their partner.
Co-author and assistant marketing professor Meredith David, Ph.D., said the findings suggest that the more one party interrupts couple time together through cellphone use, the less likely the other person will be satisfied in the relationship. This could lead to enhanced depressive feelings and lower well-being of that individual, warned David.
How then should one make sure not to “phub” or get phubbed? David advised being more mindful of how much time is being spent using one’s phone. Learn the interruptions caused by phones and how they can be harmful to the relationship, said David.
This research is also part of Roberts’ new book, Too Much of a Good Thing: Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone.
Are you a smartphone junkie? Rate each item on a scale of 1 (“completely disagree”) to 7 (“strongly agree”) and tally up your total score to find out.
1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone.
2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.
3. Being unable to get the news (e.g., happenings, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.
4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.
5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.
6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.
7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.
8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.
9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.
If I did not have my smartphone with me …
10. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends
11. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
12. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
13. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
14. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
15. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
16. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
17. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
18. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
19. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
20. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.
How You Score – Nomophobia (Fear of being out of mobile phone contact)
20: Not at all nomophobia. You have a very healthy relationship with your device and have no problem being separated from it.
21-60: Mild nomophobia. You get a little antsy when you forget your phone at home for a day or get stuck somewhere without Wi-Fi, but the anxiety isn’t too overwhelming.
61-100: Moderate nomophobia. You’re pretty attached to your device. You often check for updates while you’re walking down the street or talking to a friend, and you often feel anxious when you’re disconnected. Time for a digital detox?
101-120: Severe nomophobia. You can barely go for 60 seconds without checking your phone. It’s the first thing you check in the morning and the last at night, and dominates most of your activities in-between. It might be time for a digital intervention?
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. License Number 3806821038538 to reproduce on this site as well as Journal article purchased “My life has become a major distraction from my cell phone: Partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction among romantic partners” James A. Roberts, Meredith E. David Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, One Bear Place #98007, Waco, TX 76798, USA