By: Hannah Huff
Imagine you’re having a conversation with a friend and suddenly, they pull out their phone, like it’s normal, and distract themselves from the discussion you are having. Rude, right? This can happen within groups of people, as well, and it is growing, into something that has taken over good ol’ face-to-face conversations.
Phone phubbing is seen everywhere, every day, by everyone. Phubbing is the act of snubbing someone with your phone. Makenna Fisher (11) sees it happen “more often than it should and when it happens to me, I feel like what I’m saying isn’t important or I feel like the other person isn’t listening.”
You may walk into a restaurant and see couples on a date or even a whole family at a table all on their phones, not talking to one another. They are more concerned and intrigued with their phone than the ones they love that are right there in front of them.
According to Dr. Richard House, the average person looks at his/her phone 85 times a day, whether it be social media or text messages.
Phubbers are often called out to draw their attention to the disrespect they display. Catie Prell (11) usually gets “really sarcastic with the person and [says] ‘obviously they are more important than me’.” Like Prell, Alec Elmore (12) will “call them out and be upfront with the fact that [he’s] talking so they should listen.”
However, everyone is as at fault. Garrett Denis (11) commented on this saying, “I catch myself in bad habits when my mom is talking to me. It’s almost like I’m completely zoning her out and only hearing little bits of information that she said while I’m so focused on my phone.”
As a former Microsoft technology specialist, Linda Stone once said that our era is an era of “continuous partial attention”. We live in a society where modern technology is the main gateway to communication. We are so attached to our phones, that we think it isn’t disrespectful when we get on them while in the middle of a discussion.
The action of phone phubbing is ruining our relationships with the people in our lives. We are hurting ourselves more and more by allowing our phones to become more important than the people in our lives.
Phone phubbing is continually growing in our community since “our world is being consumed by technology more and more every day and it is a barrier that we will simply have to ignore” says Elmore.
While Elmore is correct, the barrier isn’t as easy to ignore as it seems. Technology is becoming bigger and better every day. Apple recently came out with the Iphone 8 and the Iphone X. With these new items out, people in the community will be distracted by their appealing features. Phones will be seen more in group settings, people will have conversations less and less, and phone phubbing will become an even more regular thing than it already is.
Phone phubbing is a serious issue that needs to be resolved, for it will only damage generations now and to come. One at a time, let’s put down the phone, and pick up the conversations we all know are valuable to humanity.