‘Phubbing’ is a term coined as part of a campaign by Macquarie Dictionary to describe the habit of snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone. In May 2012, the advertising agency behind the campaign – McCann Melbourne – invited a number of lexicographers, authors, and poets to coin a neologism to describe the behaviour.
And thus was born Phubbing. Now that we have a word for that annoying thing people do, let’s figure out why we phub?
A couple of days ago I was at dinner with my husband and an old friend of ours. Once the food had been ordered I picked up my phone for a quick look at a comment left on my blog. I shared it with them and then absentmindedly kept checking other messages. I had no idea then that I was “Phubbing”! The friend remarked, “If you continue being on your phone I’ll take out my Kindle and start reading.” I knew she was capable of doing that so I quickly put my phone away (this also because I know how annoying it is when husband/teenage daughter don’t look at me when I’m with them, focusing on their phones instead.) So I’m guilty of Phubbing and I have been Phubbed!
Why ‘Phubbing’ is a Necessary Evil
Honestly, I don’t get this big hullabaloo over mobile phones being the bane of our times. I say, treat it like it should be.... A tool for your convenience and not your inconvenience. Can you even imagine life without your smart phone? I can’t!
I need it from the moment I wake up till I fall asleep:
1. My phone doubles up as an alarm clock.
2. It helps me stay in touch with my family all across the world and in my own city thanks to all the WhatsApp groups.
3. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps help me stay connected to a variety of people; known and absolute strangers who help me get a wider world view.
4. Kindle for iPhone helps me to never be without a book. I confess when I’m at a particularly boring party I open my Kindle and start reading!
5. I order groceries, buy clothes and book hotels online, thereby taking care of my “Roti, Kapda aur Makaan” needs!
6. It helps me plan holidays, book flights and travel across the world without moving an inch.
7. I watch TV shows and movies online (Thank you, Netflix).
8. Listen to music and create playlists (Thank you, Apple Music).
9. It’s my memory keeper! All my photos are just an iCloud away.
10. The list is endless – I could go on and on.
And as if all that wasn’t enough to make any sane person “Phub”, here comes Pokemon Go!
Pardon Pokemon Go and Me for Phubbing You!
Yes I’ve been hit by the bug. I’ve never played FarmVille or Candy Crush or any of the other popular online games. Hell the only games I’ve ever played were Donkey Kong and Scrabble on my beautiful deluxe board which rotated. So about a fortnight ago when I became aware of the Pokemon Go phenomenon that had hit the world, I was very intrigued.
Within the first week of its launch it had been downloaded 10 million+ times exceeding Twitter in daily active users and was recording higher average user time than FB, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp.
I had to play Pokemon Go... I was in acute FOMO (fear of missing out) mode but then I discovered that I couldn’t download it since it hasn’t officially arrived in India. But we’re Indians, sab baat ka jugaad hota hai. Through a friend’s teenaged son I got a detailed message on how to download it.
But that didn’t work and I was like, okay, I’ll just wait for the official version – till the teenage daughter came up to me asking, “So, do we have a USA Apple ID?” I said yes and she said, let’s download Pokemon Go now! And that’s how the husband, the child and me became Pokemon Go addicts... I mean, fans! We’ve gone for walks in the neighbourhood looking for Poke Shops and Pokemons.
I keep the app open while I’m going places in the car and keep telling my driver to stop while I capture Pokemons. Even he was clued into the fact that I was playing this new game: “TV pe aaya tha,” he offered. “Koi naya game hai ... Sab pagal ho rahe hain”.
I hope he wasn’t referring to me!
So please pardon me if I’m Phubbing you... Now Pokemon Go has been added to the list of things that compel me to Phub!
(Essentially actor. Full time mom. Part time dreamer. Sporadic blogger at This, That & the Other. Regular foodie who loves to travel.)