Are you a phubber? If you’re phubbing your family, it’s time to stop. And I have some tips to help you.
Macmillan Dictionary defines phubbing as “the activity of being impolite in a social situation by looking at your phone instead of paying attention to the person you are with.”
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How to Stop Phubbing
1. Recognize what you’re doing.
Be honest with yourself. Has a loved one complained that you can’t keep your eyes off your cell phone? Maybe you’ve even had arguments over it.
In the Yahoo article “Stop Phubbing Up Your Relationship,” you’ll read about the negative effects of phubbing along with thought-provoking questions.
Dr. James A. Roberts has a book called Too Much of a Good Thing: Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone? He has an excerpt of the book at Huffington Post in an article called “To Phubb or Not to Phubb.” In it, you’ll find an “Are You a Phubber?” quiz with 9 simple-to-answer questions.
Check out this video. Does it look familiar?
2. Think about what’s most important to you.
I think of myself as a recovering phubber. It took my husband getting tongue cancer for me to realize that I needed to change my behavior. When my husband and I went out to eat or to do errands, I liked to do work on my iPhone while we drove to our destination. I rationalized that I needed to do that because I work online. While I love my work, my family is still the most important, and that needs to take top priority.
Even though my husband’s tongue cancer was diagnosed early enough that it was cured easily and with a very positive prognosis, it was a wake-up call. It was shocking enough to make me think about the unthinkable thought of losing him or another loved one. I also thought about my granddaughter and research showing that children need eye contact to develop empathy.
Maybe for you, it’s the thought of your kids as adults. Will their memories be of you focusing on your phone instead of on them? I’m thankful that smartphones (even the Internet) weren’t around when my kids were little. While I love smartphones and the Internet, I know how difficult it is to maintain a balance today.
3. Make rules to help yourself stop phubbing.
Make rules for going places with family members or friends.
I made rules that when I’m going someplace with my husband, my iPhone stays in my purse or backpack. If we’re talking, doing errands, or eating in a restaurant, I’m not working on my phone. I only use it if I get a call from another family member.
I do allow myself to work online if I’m waiting for my husband or another family member when we’re out. For example, if I’m waiting while my daughter tries on something in a store dressing room, I can work on my iPhone then.
Make rules for family meals.
During family meals, my phone isn’t at the table. My husband, kids, kids-in-law, granddaughter, and I like to go out to eat together for special occasions. Even though all the adults have busy lives and businesses that require us to be online or use smartphones a lot, you won’t typically see us looking at our phones. It makes for much happier memories!
Make rules for any other times that are a problem for your family.
Are there other times that your phone use is making your family feel snubbed? If that’s the case, have an honest discussion about what needs to be changed.
Have a Happy and Phub-Free Life!
Read “25 Reasons We All Need to Stop Phubbing Each Other” on Buzzfeed. It’s a fun read and a good eye-opener.
Check out StopPhubbing.com.
My book Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy is for teaching manners to 2-12 year olds. Elementary-age kids need to know cell-phone courtesy, so I’ve included it in the book. You can help your kids avoid the habit of phubbing before it gets started.
I wish you and your family a happy and phub-free life!
And I’d love to hear any tips you’ve used to stop phubbing.
Photo Credit: Main image at top of post by stylephotographs.
Main image in Stop Pubbing graphic by vi73.