Everyone knows what it's like to sit around a table trying to tell a story only to realize that your companions are too entranced by their Instagram feeds to hear a word you've said.
But chances are, you've also been the person at dinner who, growing too impatient for the food, has reached for your phone to kill time. It seems pretty harmless, but apparently, there's a lot more at stake than you realize.
This behavior has become so rampant that it actually has an official name: "phubbing." Coined by James A. Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing at Baylor University, phubbing is the act of snubbing someone in a social setting in favor of your phone.
And according to the Baylor University researchers, phubbing could lead to possible depression and relationship issues if you're not careful.
For the study, they conducted two separate surveys of more than 450 adults in the U.S. to determine how much people use or get distracted by their cellphones when with they're with their significant others and how that affects their relationship.
“What we discovered was that when someone perceived that their partner phubbed them, this created conflict and led to lower levels of reported relationship satisfaction,” Roberts explained in a press release. “These lower levels of relationship satisfaction, in turn, led to lower levels of life satisfaction and, ultimately, higher levels of depression.”
But how do you know if your degree of phubbing is damaging your relationship? Well, Roberts created a quiz to help you figure that out — and you can find it here.
And if you're the person who is constantly telling people to put away their phones, you can join the anti-phubbing movement, it is now (obviously) possible to stage a phubbing intervention — and if all else fails, just chuck your partner's phone out of the window (the Defenestration of Phub!).
What do you think of all this? Do you set rules for your phone use?