If you've ever been having a romantic dinner with your significant other - or a pint with your friend, Mike, last Sunday during the Saints/Toon match - and you've seen them dicking about with their phone across the table while you were trying to chat to them, a new survey is going to be getting all in and around your interest gills.

Phubbing is a portmanteau (two words smashed together to make one, innit) of 'phone' and 'snubbing'. A phone is a communication device. Snubbing is when you ignore someone, or in some cases when you rub a snooker ball against your leg suggestively to distract your opponent.

The full term is Partner phubbing (Pphubbing) but given that this sort of looks like an element on the periodic table, people have simply shortened it to Phubbing. The report explains it as follows.

Partner phubbing (Pphubbing) can be best understood as the extent to which an individual uses, or is distracted, by his/her cell phone while in the company of his/her relationship partner.

Phubbing may sound like a load of total bollocks, but if you think about it, five years ago tinder was merely a form of kindling for the fires that we all like to enjoy, being ghosted was probably something to do with actual ghosts, fleek meant absolutely nothing and people who used vape machines weren't called vapists. They're not now either, so I claim that word, thank you.

A study from America reveals genuine concern over the amount of time people spend looking at their phones whilst in the presence of partners.

Dr James Roberts of Baylor University in Texas said: "The presence and use of cell phones are ever-increasing, causing the boundaries that separate our work and other interests from our romantic relationships to become more and more blurred.

"As a result, the occurrence of phubbing is nearly inevitable. In fact, from a sample of 143 individuals involved in romantic relationships, 70% responded that cell phones 'sometimes', 'often', 'very often' or 'all the time' interfered in their interactions with their partners."

Roberts even goes as far as saying that simply looking at your phone in the presence of your partner can be enough to harm your relationship.

Almost 40% of those surveyed said they felt depressed as a result of being 'phubbed'.

The doc said: "[Phubbing] can create a domino effect: As our study also showed, when we're not happily in love, we are also less likely to be satisfied, overall, with life. We're also more likely to report that we are depressed."

Bad news all round. So, if you think it's really important to look at your WhatsApp, Facebook or Tinder while with your partner (something that frankly throws up numerous questions) you might want to think again, because this study shows that it means you'll be doing it major with the bad behaviour.

Alternatively, it should be just plain obvious that looking at a phone screen while in the company of one other person is incredibly, incredibly rude. Michael.

Words: Ronan O'Shea

Featured Image Credit: Saved By The Bell

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