People who value relationships are a rarity these days. People have changed, priorities have changed and ultimately, their efforts to build relationships and savor them has almost completely disappeared. Each of us are immersed in our virtual world surrounded by Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts. Maybe you are reading this post while sitting at the table with your loved one over dinner or a name-sake conversation. That’s phubbing! Don’t mind if the word sounds new but its meaning is something that’s been practiced by people these days quite often. Consider these scenarios:
There’s a World Outside Your Gadgets
Conversations help people understand each other better, solve problems and miscommunications and bring individuals closer. Work-life balance is difficult to achieve, we reorganize our schedules to have a meal together with our family or take a road trip outside. Aren’t we supposed to give our 100% during such occasions to stay happy, make others happy and cherish the time that we spend together with our spouse, parents, children, friends and others? But bringing in our smartphones in between all this, texting someone trying to connect to the person living on the other side of the world is ridiculous when your connectivity to the person right next to you is zero! It might seem harmless to you but it is extremely annoying to the other person being phubbed as it is just like an indirect insult to him/her. There are chances that the one being phubbed too starts diverting all the attention to social media thereby making the scenario double complicated. Phubbing essentially takes a dig at our self-esteem, sense of belonging or makes us doubt our own meaning for existing in this world (https://time.com/5216853/what-is-phubbing/).
Technology has ruined our lives and I would definitely second this. There might be a few advantages which could not be possible without technology but the disadvantages outweigh benefits. Value for humans has decreased tremendously, love and affection are going through hard phases and meaning of very existence has become a question mark. We bury ourselves in the virtual world trying to ignore our shortcomings, escape away from broken relationships or forging our private life to be all glossy and happy. In this process, we lose our very identity and become slaves of technology. This is truer in the case of spouses where studies show that couples who phub each other often experience depression and lower marital satisfaction. Partners who are busy on the phone when the other partner talks to them are clear representations that they are prioritizing other things over you and you start feeling excluded and insecure.
Free Yourself & Find Peace
Being ignored or less prioritized is bound to happen sometime or the other in each of our lives and phubbing is an experience that most of us have dealt with. Health is both physical and mental health. We may exercise and eat a well-balanced diet thereby protecting our physical health but we do need to pay attention to our emotional needs too. Death or diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s are inevitable but we should not push ourselves to the extreme of getting into depression or isolation. Avoiding the physical presence of people around you and enjoying your virtual friends might seem exciting initially as you are not involved in fights, difference of opinions and even not obliged to compromise as you are not bound to sacrifice for the other person in the virtual world. But, in course of time each of us would start yearning for a hug or a word of face to face encouragement. Holding your spouse hand-in-hand seems completely out of the world during certain occasions. So, next time you feel like prioritizing mobiles over relationships remember to hide the gadget away-maybe when you go for a dinner date, meetup friends or have your Sunday tea together. If in case you do have an important call to attend please inform the other person and be responsible enough to only attend the important call.
Start valuing relationships, prioritizing the physical presence of people and take time to attend to their needs. I am sure that your life would become brighter surrounded by laughter and happiness, kids would also start treating people with more love spending less time over their gadgets and families would become close-knitted. After all, isn’t it the happiness and fulfillment of our loved ones that we all strive to achieve at the end of day? Having someone to share our joys and sorrows, success and failures and everyday experiences is a blessing. Ask about it to people who don’t have a family or who are left alone to take care of themselves.
Phubbing: What is it & Why is it Bad for our Health: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/04/24/phubbing-phone-snubbing-mental-health/546124002/
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.