It’s common now to see people snubbing social companions to concentrate on their smartphone. But what causes this behaviour — known as ‘phubbing’ — and how did it come to be regarded as normal?
Research from psychologists at the University of Kent suggests people’s internet addiction is leading them increasingly to ‘phub’ — and experience being ‘phubbed’ — in social situations. This, in turn, leads them to view this phubbing behaviour as normal.
The research, by Varoth Chotpitayasunondh and Professor Karen Douglas from the University’s School of Psychology, identified a number of factors that were linked to smartphone addiction. These were internet addiction, a fear of missing out and a lack of self-control.
This smartphone addiction, in turn, was directly linked to people demonstrating phubbing behaviour. The researchers further found that it was this experience of phubbing — and of being phubbed themselves — that made people more likely to think that phubbing was ‘normal’ behaviour.
The research, thought to be the first to consider both the causes and consequences of this modern-day phenomena, is likely to lead to further investigations of the impact of phubbing on the quality of social interaction.
It is published as “How “phubbing” becomes the norm: The antecedents and consequences of snubbing via smartphone” in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)