“Phubbing,” or phone-snubbing, has increasingly become a problem within relationships, according to an online research article from Baylor University.
Phubbing is the act of ignoring the company of others due to the distraction of your cell phone, and according to the study, its most recent victims are couples.
Carter Briggs, an alumnus, said, while phubbing is becoming a problem with an increasing number of couples within this generation, he and his wife have found a way to avoid the phubbing epidemic.
“I don’t think we have a problem with ignoring each other for our phones,” Briggs said. “We talked about that while we were dating. We kind of had a conversation while we were dating where we said specifically that we wouldn’t ignore each other for our phones.”
“Partner phubbing” has been shown to create problems within relationships and has been linked to the decline of relationship satisfaction, according to the study from Baylor University.
Rachel Simper, a junior studying communication, said she and her husband have figured out a way to incorporate technology into their married life without making the other feel slighted.
“Usually after lunch we’ll sit on the couch and spend about 30-45 minutes in silence because we’re absorbed in our phones,” Simper said. “We’re not super weird and only check our phones that one time. We do scroll through Facebook or Instagram every so often throughout the day. We’re just good at getting our major social media use done when we’re both doing our own thing.”
Simper said although both she and her husband spent time apart while they are on their phones, it is proven to be beneficial within their relationship.
“It’s a way to de-stress from class and work,” Simper said. “There are times when it is one-sided. Nothing is ever perfect, but depending on the circumstances, we both just nonverbally agree that the other needs some alone time, and what they do with that time is up to them.”
While phubbing can emerge within any relationship, a study done by Karen M. Douglas and Varoth Chotpitayasunondh in Computers in Human Behavior suggests the problem’s roots lie within the notion that phubbing is normal within all relationships.
Briggs said he feels technology is becoming a problem, not only within steady relationships, but within the world of dating as well.
“I can’t tell you how many times my wife and I have gone out to eat and have seen couples ignoring each other for their phones,” Briggs said. “It’s really sad.”
Sandra Uriona, a senior studying psychology, said she and her fiancé avoid the phubbing conflict with active activities.
“Our relationship, since the very beginning, has always been focused on the time we get to spend together,” Uriona said. “We keep busy with activities like cooking, watching Netflix or going out on dates.”
Uriona said when she and her fiancé started dating, her phone was no longer a priority.
“When I was single, I’d spend most of my time looking through my phone,” Uriona said. “But all that changes when you have someone else as the focus of your life. I get bored with my phone now. I’d rather spend my time with him than my time looking through a world that’s not even real, just virtual.”