Phubbing v Loving: As We Mourn, Remember Love

phubbingResearch 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.*

Today we mourn the many lives lost in the Orlando terrorist attack. Tragedy this horrific reminds us how easy it is to forget, to take for granted, how much we love and need one another. Enter Phubbing – which is snubbing or ignoring someone in favor of your mobile phone or other device. Perfect example. How did outright ignoring the one we are with ever become this okay? So okay that, for all the issues my clients raise in love and work, I cannot recall a single one of them even mentioning phubbing, although I surmise they have all suffered it at some point along their way.**

I have done it myself. Stickler about this that I am, hadn’t thought so, and only learned this after slamming a friend for doing it herself on repeated occasions. After I let her have it, this friend, who had been my travel companion in Europe last year, nicely and rightly pointed out how many times she had lost me in a crowd because I had stopped to text the man I love. She hadn’t said much of anything that I can recall at the time. After all, it’s not that easy to complain about something we do ourselves. But I was somehow (I don’t know how) unaware that what I was doing counted as phubbing too, nor that there even was a word for it. So, complain I did when she explained she had to take what’s his name’s phone calls because he already texted that evening about Memorial Day plans weeks away. Really? She couldn’t call him back later on her own time.

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out, rampant these days, manifest in facebook and other social media addiction and, coupled with a lack of self-control according to these authors, accounting for phubbing. I am going to stop phubbing. I think I can. I know I can. Let’s all try together to not do that anymore. There is no greater gift that we can give to one another than the gift of our attention. Mindfulness: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” (Jon Kabat Zinn).

That is love. The gift of our attention. As we mourn together today, let us remember love and especially to love the one we are with. Practice, practice, practice, and see what happens.

To work on this or something else, would love to hear from you:

Email:  Madelaine Weiss

* “How did ignoring people for our smartphones become the norm?” June 7, 2016

**Examples and illustrations are fictional composites inspired by but not depicting nor referring to any actual specific person in my practice or life experience.

Copyright © 2017. Madelaine Claire Weiss. All rights reserved.




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