Put your phone down and pay attention. Now that every person has a smart phone, face-to-face contact is no longer the default method of communication. It’s not uncommon in social settings that the person on the end of a phone will be prioritised over the person who is physically present. The phenomenon of snubbing the person in front of you, in preference for the person who just called or texted you, has been labelled ‘phubbing’ – phone snubbing.
Audio – Alex Haigh talks about phone snubbing
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We’ve probably all done it and all been victims of it. You know the feeling. You’re in the middlepocket and suddenly the conversation is cut-off as they answer a call, read a text or laugh at something. Suddenly you notice your companion’s eyes glazing over: They’re reaching for their tweet. It happens all the time.
According to 23-year-old Aussie, Alex Haigh, it has to stop, or society as we know it will come to an end. So Alex launched the internet campaign ‘stop phubbing’.
At first, the campaign hit the mark in cafes and restaurants that wanted to encourage patrons to get off their phones and talk to each other. But in the past week, Alex’s tongue-in-cheek website has struck a chord with people all around the world who feel a need to live in the moment. He has even been featured in Time Magazine.
Do you know someone who is a chronic, repeat phubber? If so, you may need to host an intervention. The ‘Stop Phubbing’ campaign can help you with that.