Phub (short for phone snub) means to ignore someone or not give them your full attention because you are looking at a mobile phone or tablet. The word is appearing in some American dictionaries but I am not sure if the Oxford Dictionary – it added double-double, as in double cream and sugar, to its list of words this year – has given phub legitimate status. Yet.
If you have been phubbed lately, you will no doubt be as angry as I am about this rude practice.
It is bad enough people under the age of 30 are addicted to their wireless devices. When someone who is over 50 brings a tablet to a dinner table and then proceeds to read aloud Facebook postings instead of participating in adult conversation, it is beyond reason.
This happened to me at a semi-formal dinner party this summer. The person in question is a friend and I was hurt by this rudeness. There were a few other instances of phubbing prior to this I ignored. My friend is not aware she hurt my feelings deeply.
Earlier in the year, I spent a girls’ weekend at a resort. Another friend had her tablet or smartphone with her at all times. She was not checking on a sick child or staying in touch with work. She was checking her emails for recipes, horoscopes, daily inspirations, coupons and the list of top 10 supermodels who were ugly babies.
In both cases, I was left with the feeling I must be the most boring person in the world because my friends didn’t want to talk to me.
Over the years, I have seen couples in restaurants ignore each other while talking on their phones or checking email. I have witnessed it at meetings.
I have heard of someone who checked his smartphone during a job interview. Just recently I read about a woman who met face-to-face with a man she met online. During dinner, he barely talked and was texting other women. At the abrupt end of the evening, the guy could not understand why the woman didn’t invite him in for coffee (and never wants to see him again).
Nomophobia is the term created by British researchers to identify people who experience anxiety when they have no access to mobile technology. They are addicted to their wireless devices. A British survey suggests one in eight people has this addiction.
To all those phubbers out there, stop the madness. Get rid of your device and get a real life.