Have You Been "Phubbing?" If So, It's Ruining Your Relationship

Have You Been "Phubbing?" If So, It's Ruining Your Relationship

Is your hand turning into a claw from chronic phone use?

By Marianne Garvey

Is your partner more enamored with Instagram than they are with you? Do they smile and laugh with their phone while completely ignoring you?

It’s called “phubbing,” or phone snubbing.

Professors James Roberts and Meredith David, at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, recently released a study that looks into "phubbing" and how it affects relationships. A partner constantly distracted by their phone in your presence is hurtful. According to the study, the typical American checks his or her smartphone once every six-and-a-half minutes, which is roughly 150 times each day—and 70 percent of the study’s 175 participants said that the constant phone checking hurt their partners.

The study defines “partner phubbing” as “the extent to which an individual uses or is distracted by his/her cell phone while in the company of his/her relationship partner.” It determined that “the more a partner was on the receiving end of phubbing, the more smartphone use was a source of conflict in their relationship.”

Phone addiction while with your partner has also been added to a list of common relationship problems, including money, sex, and kids.

The study asked participants to complete a nine-item “Partner Phubbing Scale” that measured how often one felt "phubbed" by his or her partner's phone use. The scale included: “My partner places his or her smartphone where they can see it when we are together” and “My partner uses his or her smartphone when we are out together.”

It was found that chronic phone use “undermined the quality of the relationship” and causes the relationship to deteriorate because there are less and less meaningful interactions between you and your partner.

What can you do?

The study advises that being present and aware of your partners needs instead of on your phone can help improve the problem before it’s too late.

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