many times have you watched with distaste as a parent ignores
their young child beside them while mindlessly scanning their
phone? Yes, we’ve all spotted them at it, and yes, how we’ve
sighed and tut-tutted.
question: how many times have your eyes been glued to your own
mobile screen while ignoring those in the room with you? Come on,
be honest now. Few among us can claim we’ve consistently avoided
known as phubbing: the antisocial practice of snubbing someone
you’re with to look at your smartphone instead. You’ve probably
been variously a victim and a culprit, and for the past few years
it’s gone largely unpunished.
research from Ofcom finds
that, on average, people check their smartphones once every 12
minutes during their waking hours. We are, it appears to have been
universally agreed, addicted.
while the latest figures from the telecoms regulator apparently
confirm our dependency, there has been a less noticeable tug in
the opposite direction of late. The growing social stigma
surrounding phone overuse has been gradually building, as
evidenced first of all by the coining of the handy “phubbing”
portmanteau a few years back, to name the widespread problem. In
other words, the sudden loss of our manners where phones are
concerned has not gone entirely unremarked. And in the last few
months the backlash, it seems, has gone mainstream.