Are you a Phubber?

Speaking to everybody is one’s own language could be considered one of the best communication skills. An uphill task it must be as one has to be quite well-versed even with different terminologies in the same language. Though I can’t claim to have mastered the skill, I most certainly try it to the best of my ability. However, the other day, I was just searching for words to (politely) ask my brother to change his habits of abruptly cutting the call. I was used to the same with my mother. Anytime I call her, the first thing I tell her is, “Hold the phone.” When I observed the same pattern with my brother, I was wondering how I would convey it to him. I would probably say, “Hold the mobile, tab, iphone, note…”
Earlier when there were no phones, people said, ‘Hold the wire’. Even before, it was “Hold the circuitry’. Language, being a reflection of the contemporary culture, evolves accommodating new words. Wait, it’s not evolution of language or communication skills that we are discussing here. Recently, I came across an interesting word, phubbing and I loved the word for word’s sake. It’s indeed an innovative term used to describe ‘snubbing people by using your phone in a social setting and ignoring people you are actually with’.  A Stop Phubbing is a global campaign launched by an Australian student and it’s getting global support, mainly from Australia, US and Britain. According to campaigners, phubbing is rife and they feel there is a dire need to end this discourteous behaviour. The campaign leaders find phubbing a mannerless and rude behaviour.
It is beyond doubt that it’s insane to be engaged on your phone, incessantly talking, playing games or texting when you are in the middle of the conservation or attending a family or friend’s gathering or even at work. This habit irritated me too quite a few times. Once, a cousin of mine, more of a friend, visited me after many years. I finished off dinner early thinking we would have a friendly chat after many long years. However, I saw her continuously tapping her phone. There came a point where I had stopped talking for a couple of minutes. “You said something?” she asked. I just nodded my head. Nevertheless, I was tempted to say I heard her talking a lot, on mobile, though not in person.
Phubbing is not merely irritating but in some cases, it could be insulting as well. You have to look straight into the person’s eyes you are conversing with; it’s the basic most rule of conversation. So, phubbing may also reflect on one’s inability to see eye-to-eye. It could be the best way to avoid a person. Those who feel out of place are glued to their devices. When you can’t be part of the talk, your phone can always help you. Nonetheless, you may find your head buried in the device as a breather but it’s a pain in the neck for others.
Initially, though I loved that term’ phubbing’, little had I the idea how alarming it was getting where the initiative had to be taken to raise voice against it! As the lead campaigner fears, there would be couples sitting in silence, relationships based on status update and waning ability of face-to-face communication if phubbing continues. With or without phones, it had started happening more with social communities. Yet, there is no need to blame it on technology as it all depends on adequate usage. Otherwise, there is nothing bad in being part of a social community unless one keeps poise.
It’s true that lesser the devices, happier the life! Lesser the clutter, more and more sorted we are!! Though technological addiction is assuming serious proportions, the question is who’ll bell the cat? One drunkard cannot warn his counterpart. No sweat, if phubber or addict sounds too strong, let’s coin a new term, ‘tehnoholics’. Not bad, no?



  1. Mast...absolutely true...this is a serious issue and yes, technoholics is the right word for such people. Social media on handset is literally killing minds of young generation. Mazya shaaletalya mulina mi iternetche upayog sangitale and first thing they did, all opened an account with FB and now they keep liking pics, posting sm stupid stuff and i can c them online almost six to eight hours. Don't know how to address this.

  2. Thanks.
    Yeah school chidren seem quite glued to all this.


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