Ever had one of those moments when your friend is rambling random stuff in your ears while you’re too busy scrolling through your social media but you put your phone away so you can pay attention to that friend? Me neither.
The act of ignoring people around you because you’re too involved in your phone is called phubbing. Honestly, I’ve phubbed many people in my life, friends or not. Though it is considered rude to be on your phone while someone is talking to you, many people find refuge in phubbing others as it saves them from all the nonsense they don’t want to hear (I’m one of them).
Since time immemorial (well, actually since the development of internet) people have been phubbing and have been phubbed in both personal and public settings to avoid awkward situations. They often don’t realise that phubbing can actually leave a bad impression on the person talking to them if they shower their mobile device with the undeserving overrated attention. We have become so used to fiddling with our phones that phubbing has actually become an unintentional habit.
Last week, I ran into an old friend of mine and we spent quality time together, and not once did I think of touching my phone. Later, it hit me that if we’re having a good time, we don’t really need phones to fill the emptiness in our life. With the quick advancing tech-savvy world, it has become difficult to avoid mobile devices as we complete many tasks through them. But why do we give so much attention to the virtual world if we’re already living in a real world and have first-hand 100% original problems to deal with? Why don’t we meet up with our pals instead of texting them? Why do we enjoy looking at nature’s pictures yet have second thoughts about going out and experiencing a three-dimensional version of it? Why do we care about the number of friends on social media rather than the number of friends in real life?
Simply because we’re stupid. We get engaged in our phones on family gatherings because we’re too chicken to face the real world. The person sitting right beside us becomes the farthest when we’re phubbing them. We try to escape our problems by slipping into a virtual world where we can optimize things according to our taste. So I suggest that we muster up some courage and confront reality, instead of hiding behind our phone screens. Easier said than done, I know, but we can still try. If we picked up the habit of constantly being on the phone, then we can lose it too. Besides, it’s high time we enjoy who and what’s around us until they last, because technology won’t let things stay the way they are for long anyway.
And beware, don’t get too involved in reading this or you might be phubbing people around you!