Phubbing is a new addition to the modern vocabulary that means ‘ignoring someone or people we are physically hanging out with and being held up with our phones to be connected to the virtual world and friends’. This behaviour or act has existed since mobile phones have taken over most of our lives. We all have either phubbed others or been phubbed by others almost daily!

If we look at it with eyes open, mobile phones have become an integral part of our daily lives. We have replaced several other devices and skills over the years with just one device – the mobile phone. 

Not having a mobile phone is more like lacking a limb for many – it has become so crucial for our survival that today, people find it an investment like any other! From alarm clocks to reminders and notes, from calculators to phone books, from dictionaries to books used for references, almost everything is replaced today. Even our brains, for that matter, are less used. We don’t calculate as much as we used to. We don’t read newspapers or books like before. We don’t try to remember phone numbers, birthdays, and anniversaries; we laugh less, talk less, text more with fewer words and letters, and call it the ‘SMS language’! We use short forms for everything and have lost the value of the actual act or the essence of the word – as LOL has taken over the front of laughing out loud; we hardly mean it nowadays when we use it in text. 

Phubbing ruins relationships. It destroys personal connection and can cause harm to our mental health. It causes anxiety issues like FOMO and whatnot! It drains our attention from the things that matter and things that need to be more valued. Phubbing also adversely affects our physical health, causing ailments like text-neck and stress-related issues. It is also one of the significant causes of depression and anxiety in today’s world. Though mental health concerns were prevalent earlier, today, it has taken a different avatar with the rise of mobile phones and the internet. The reason why a lot of people among us feel a lot left out and lonely is because of the constant use of the phone and social media, not being satisfied or content with our own lives; wanting and desiring to live a life inside a box, a dash of sham, glam and nothing real perhaps! 

No, phones are not all harmful and nothing good. They are technological progress, and we ought to be tech-savvy and relate to newer inventions and inclusions in life. However, like every coin has two sides to it, the use of technology does too. When we know how much to use, when, and where, we mature and rise above the downside of it. We must not let smartphones outsmart us. 

Phubbing is also not something that causes harm to all – many people are introverts in nature and have social anxieties. They deal pretty well with the act of phubbing. They don’t seem to feel lost in the crowd with their smartphones by their side. They can deal with their lives their way – just like the coin’s other side! 

Let us educate ourselves and our children, who are the future, to not give in to the lameness part of the online world and believe that we are falling behind. Instead, we are the ones who created this convenience and shall experience, use, learn, progress, and relish the same. 

Follow Aakanksha Dinah 

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