There’s a new verb to add to your lexicon. I found out about it this morning while reading my iPhone’s news feed. The verb is “phubbing.”
Have you ever used it? Have you ever even heard of it? I hadn’t, but I’m not really out there when it comes to the latest colloquialisms being added to the English language.
So what is it? Well, according to my iPhone’s news feed, phubbing is the practice of snubbing others in favor of your mobile phone. It’s a mashup of the words “phone” and “snubbing.” It is the act of ignoring someone by paying closer attention to your phone than to them.
When we’re staring at our phones, the article pointed out, we’re often texting with someone, checking Twitter or Facebook, or looking at pictures of funny cats or cute dogs on the internet. And that means we are not engaging with others via in-person, face-to-face relationships.
Some suggest that overuse of our phones in the presence of others can lead to a decline in interpersonal relationships, even to those we are closest to, such as our spouses, parents, or children.
The act of phubbing is almost self-perpetuating. People snubbed in favor of technology are more likely to attach themselves to their phones in unhealthy ways. Yikes!
So after I finished reading the article, I looked up from my iPhone, looked at my wife, who was sitting across the kitchen table from me, and said, “Hey, honey, I learned a new word this morning.”
With her eyes glued to her own iPhone, she responded, “Shh, don’t bother me. I’m tweeting.”
That’s when I realized I’d just been phubbed.