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Why ‘Pphubbing’ Might Be Ruining Your Relationships

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You’ve probably never heard of the term “Pphubbing” before, but you are most certainly familiar with what it is. Pphubbing is a term that was coined by some authors of Computers in Human Behavior, and it is the act of pulling away from a partner when you get an email, text, Insta alert, etc.

This occurrence happens all the time and it is a relatively newer phenomenon since we didn’t used to have electronics on us all the time. In most of our lifetimes we can remember when the landline rang during dinner the option to not pick it up was frequently used, since it was an unnecessary distraction. But somehow that evolved and most of us find it very normal to check our phones or respond to an alert no matter who we’re spending time with at the moment.

Even though we all do it and think it seems appropriate from our perspective, it becomes a problem when the people that we are with feel excluded or less important which happens more than we might realize. Some research has found that the more Pphubbing that goes on, the more likely someone in a relationship is to report dissatisfaction.

Pphubbing causes feelings of rejection even if they are small ones, and anyone who has any insecurities about a relationship to begin with might have an even harder time sorting through these feelings. It can cause pretty conflicts in relationships where people have an anxious attachment to their loved ones.

The problems with Pphubbing can also go beyond just relationship satisfaction, the same research found that people who dealt with it a lot also dealt with a lot more depression and general life dissatisfaction, although this is not necessarily a casual relationship since it’s possible that depressed people are more sensitive to feelings of rejection or abandonment anyway.

It is safe to assume however that giving more attention to whatever is happening on your phone than to the people around you can cause some problems, and it is something to consider in your personal relationships.

When you spend time with a partner it usually works out best if it is uninterrupted time so that there is actually a feeling of purpose and bonding that takes place, and when phones are taking center stage that is not necessarily happening.

Phone addiction is a real thing especially when it comes to social media, so if you feel like you’re doing too much you might need to start taking some steps to fix it. You don’t have to quit your phone altogether, but maybe limit times that you look at it and set special alerts if you are expecting something important. Not checking the phone while on a date for example can be a great tactic for creating some more focused one on one time.

Another good trick is to charge your phone on the opposite side of the room while you sleep which can train you to stop checking it in the night when you wake up. It might seem harmless but when you get into this habit you will actually start waking up more to check it.

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About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.

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