Phubbing is snubbing someone by paying attention to your phone instead of them in a social setting.
Apparently a lot of people are tired of phone snubbing. An awareness campaign begging us all to stop it, started by a guy in Australia, has gone viral.
The “Stop Phubbing” campaign, started by 23-year-old graduate student Alex Haigh, is getting press around the world. Though the movement’s Web site is decorated with faux statistics like “92 percent of repeat phubbers go on to be politicians,” his message addresses people’s real tendency to stare at phones like they’re going to produce winning lottery numbers. Haigh and the ad company supporting his effort playfully suggest staging interventions.
It’s one of those things that regardless of where you are, everyone has experienced it.
The viral popularity of the campaign also reflects our modern ambivalence about cool gadgets. While there are no hard stats about phubbing rates, we do know that Americans love their smartphones. More than half now own one — 55 percent according to the Pew Research Center — with features that all double as distractions.
Added up, those distractions can be isolating. Consider the awfully common table at a restaurant where all seated are texting and no one is talking.
One socially redeeming idea is for previous “phubbers” to donate their old cell phones to benefit a good cause.