It's the worst.
Everyone does it. Phubbing or phone snubbing happens all the time, and mostly we aren't aware of the damage it's doing to our relationships.
How do you feel when you're having dinner at that great new Thai place, with your potential Mr. or Mrs. Right, and everything is going great — except they keep looking at their smartphone. They're trying to be discreet about it, but you can tell that they're glancing at it sideways.
What if you and your partner are about to have some sexy time, and instead of turning off their phone they keep it on? To make matters worse, they make sure they have a good view of the screen ... Are you still feeling it?
When someone won't stop looking at their phone, it can make you feel insecure, as if you're not enough to hold their attention. It's not unlike being at work, and everyone around you is speaking another language that you don't understand.
You know they probably aren't talking about you, and you try to be a good sport about it, but you still feel left out and uncomfortable. Phubbing feels a lot like that when you're the person being ignored for the smartphone.
In a phubbing study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, researchers from Baylor University surveyed 453 American adults in the United States about the extent to which they/their partner use/are distracted by smartphones while being with their romantic partner. The study also considered how this behavior affected the way they felt about their relationship.
46.3 percent of the participants said their partners phubbed them, and 22.6 percent said it caused issues in their relationship.
"In everyday interactions with significant others, people assume that momentary distractions by their cell phones are not a big deal," Meredith E. David, one of the researchers said. "However, our findings suggest that the more often a couple's time spent together is interrupted by one individual attending to his/her cell phone, the less likely it is that the other individual is satisfied in the overall relationship."
Phubbing doesn't just affect a relationship; it can also affect how someone feels personally.
"Specifically, momentary distractions by one's cell phone during time spent with a significant other likely lowers the significant other's satisfaction with their relationship, and could lead to enhanced feelings of depression and lower well-being of that individual," David explained in an interview with Baylor University's media communications.
So, next time there's a break in conversation with your significant other, try to ignore the urge to check your phone — your relationship might depend on it.