What is “fubbing” and how it can destroy our relationship: scientists told what to fear

Research shows it’s hard to be a “social butterfly” when you’re constantly scrolling through Twitter.

“Phubbing” is a combination of “telephone” and neglect – in simple words, this is the habit of constantly being distracted by the phone while talking with an interlocutor, writes IFL Science .

This is a very annoying habit for others, but the problem is actually a little deeper. According to Stanford and Yale University psychologist Emma Seppälä, the irony is that phubbing encourages us to connect with someone through social media and text messages, but it can also “destroy our personal relationships in the moment.” Scientists note that when it comes to our personal relationships, it is important to take into account such a characteristic as social intelligence and how phubbing affects it.

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What is social intelligence?

The concept of “social intelligence” was first proposed by Columbia University psychologist Edward Thorndike back in 1920. Then he gave her this definition: “The ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls, to act wisely in human relations.”

However, modern sociologists have long developed this concept and now break it down into a number of characteristics:

  • ability to listen and communicate;
  • understanding the unwritten rules of social communication;
  • the ability to manage the impression we make;
  • the ability to bridge disagreements.

Simply put, “social intelligence” is a set of characteristics that allows us to connect with people, build connections, please others, and adapt to circumstances.

The connection between phubbing and social intelligence

At first glance, phubbing excludes the bulk of the social intelligence “good conversationalist” and “effective listener.” Moreover, people who constantly hold the phone in their hands, as a rule, are perceived as less polite and attentive – that is, bad interlocutors.

In 2021, researchers conducted a study that was the first to link phubbing to lower social intelligence. However, at that time, a regular magazine was used in the experiments, and not a telephone. Scientists have found that reading a magazine is perceived positively, while using the phone is negatively perceived.

The researchers suggested that such results are due to the fact that people simply do not like smartphones. After all, the recipients considered the magazines educational, civilized and useful for the development of concentration.

What to do?

And yet there is a way out, the researchers believe that getting rid of this habit is not difficult enough, in fact, you don’t even have to give up your smartphone. The trick is to resist the temptation, at least try.

The study shows that people who have their phones in sight rather than hidden are better at giving up their phones and concentrating. At the same time, scientists note that, alas, it will not be so easy to master social intelligence. However, working on this, most likely, will only lead to an improvement in social life and building relationships with loved ones.

Previously , Focus wrote that scientists have found out what makes a person boring and unpleasant to communicate .

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