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‘Phubbing’ your partner could cost you your marriage, study warns

For some people, a moment without your phone in your hand can seem like a lifetime.

Now, a study has warned how our obsession with our phones could be taking a toll on our relationships.

Scientists from Nigde Omer Halisdemir University set out to investigate the effects of ‘phubbing’ – snubbing others for your phone – in married couples.

Worryingly, they found that couples who regularly phub each other have lower marriage satisfaction.

‘When individuals perceive that their romantic partners phubbing more frequently, they feel more conflict and less intimacy in the relationship,’ the team explained in their study.

What is phubbing?

Phubbing is a term created by combining the words ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing’.

It refers to a person interacting with their phone rather than interacting with a human being – whether it is your partner or in other social situations.

Two people may also phub at the same time, known as double phubbing.

Phubbing a friend is known as friend phubbing or Fphubbing.

Phubbing is a process where a person is distracted by their phone during a conversation with others.

‘Phubbing behavior, which we can be subjected to (phubbee) or the doer of (phubber), manifests itself as a behavior that is widely observed everywhere in today’s technologically advanced societies,’ the team wrote in their study, published in Elsevier journal Computers in Human Behavior.

In their study, the researchers set out to study the effect of this behaviour on married couples.

They enlisted 712 married people from Turkey (347 females and 365 males), with an average age of 37.

These participants were surveyed on their marriage satisfaction, phubbing tendencies, and communication skills.

The results will come as bad news for those who can’t put their phone down – phubbing significantly prediced martial dissatisfaction.

Izzet Parmaksız, lead author of the study, said: ‘Our research demonstrates the power of effective communication, especially among romantic couples.

‘Marital conflict mainly occurs when people are ignored by those they value, and this ignorance leads to lower relationship satisfaction and may impact personal well-being.

‘People should be mindful about being present with their loved ones to show they care, and put their phone away.’

The study comes shortly after a study revealed that phubbers are more likely to have certain mental health issues.

Researchers from the University of University of Oklahoma found depressed people ‘phub’ their friends more frequently – either in a social situation such as in a pub or a cafe – than those without depression.

Socially anxious people who might prefer online social interactions to face-to-face communication, also exhibit more phubbing behaviours, the authors say.

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