It's called "phubbing," and it may be ruining your relationships.
Have you made a habit of checking your smartphone when you’re supposed to be interacting with your partner? You may be headed straight to Splitsville, population: You.
A new study has found that people who are on their smartphones during what should be quality time with a partner can result in ruined romantic relationships and can even lead to depression, according to a Business Standard report.
James Roberts, a professor at Baylor University in Texas who was one of the researchers that worked ont he study, even called the results “astounding,” he said according to the report.
People underestimate just how much damage is being done when they blow off a significant other in order to check another email, read a news article, or perhaps browse Reddit.
It’s one of the new dangers to relationships caused by smartphones as they have burst onto the scene in recent years. Ten years ago this probably wasn’t a problem, but now virtually everyone owns a smartphone that can deliver to them anything they want immediately: news, games, videos, and more. So they develop an addiction that can be to the detriment of their relationships.
Scientists have even created a name for it: Phubbing or Pphubbing, also known as “partner phone snubbing.”
Researchers conducted two surveys that included 453 U.S. adults in order to look into what the effects of “Pphubbing” were, which is described as the extent to which people are distracted by cell phones while around their significant others. They found that when a partner is phubbed, a conflict is created that resulted in lower levels in relationship satisfaction.
The first survey included 308 adults, and it enabled the researchers to create what they called a “Partner Phubbing Scale,” which is nine items in length and describes typical smartphone behaviors that could be described as phubbing. The second survey, which included 145 adults, measured this phenomenon in couples who were romantically involved.
The results were eye-opening: about 46.3 percent of the respondents said they’d be phubbed, and 22.6 percent said that it has resulted in conflicts within their relationships. A full 36.6 percent, meanwhile, said they felt depressed some of the time because of it.
It reveals a falsehood that we have perpetrated against ourselves: that just checking our phone real quick is no big deal and our partners will understand, when in reality, it suggests that the other person really isn’t that important — and that’s indeed how phubbing victims feel, according to the study. When someone checks their phone, it interrupts a level of intimacy between the couple, breaking whatever “close” mood the two individuals were having up to that point. The study has found that those who phub too much are more likely to feel less satisfaction in their relationship.
The findings were published in Computers in Human Behaviour.
Smartphones have certainly created a new frontier for scientific discovery when it comes to human relationships. It seems like virtually everyone today owns a smartphone, something that wasn’t the case 10 years ago or even five years ago. But as technology has improved and computers have been miniaturized into the palms of our hands, phones have gone from simply calling devices to a portable computer that is many times just as function or powerful as many desktop computers — just with a smaller screen. As a result, the temptation to pull up the phone during lulls in conversation or activities has become irresistible to many people, and they now have instant access to just about anything online.
As a result, mankind may need to find a balance, particularly when it comes to relationships, as smartphones have shown — based on the results of this study — that they can and do put a strain on human relationships.
A smartphone is generally defined as a mobile phone that has an advanced mobile operating system that basically combines the features of personal computer with that of a phone. They’re everywhere today: iPhones, the Windows Phone, the Galaxy, and many others can be found in just about anyone’s pocket. Sales of smartphones were $1.2 billion in 2014, and that was a 28 percent increase over the year before, indicating that smartphones are only continuing their meteoric rise in popularity.
The iPhone was really the pioneer for this type of phone. Released to much fanfare all the way back in 2007, it was a huge leap from the iPods that had already started taking over the electronics industry. When Apple combined the popularity of the iPod with the mobile phone, they changed the electronics market forever and made it what it is today.
With each new iteration, the iPhone has grown leaps and bounds since its first-gen days. It just recently released the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, which were unveiled last month.
But they’re not the only models to find massive popularity in the market. The Samsung Galaxy is a big contender for smartphone market share. This Android-powered mobile device is manufactured by Samsung and it includes the Galaxy S series of smartphones, as well as a number of tablets and so-called “phablets.”