Digital Distractions: Phubbing

Ask the Experts by Dr. Lori Warner

Q: My husband told me I'm "phubbing" him. What does he mean??

A: The term Phubber combines "phone" and "snubber". But are you a Phubber?

Let's find out - here are a few of the indicators. Do you:

  • Check your phone during meals with others?
  • Check your phone during a lull in the conversation?
  • Glance often at your phone while talking to someone?
  • Place your cell phone where you can see it when with others?

We may engage in some of these behaviors from time to time, but when it becomes more frequent, we may have developed a bad habit that will harm our relationships.

There is also something called the "iPhone Effect" - defined in the Urban Dictionary as shortly after one person in the group brings out their iPhone, the rest follow suit, ultimately ending all conversation and eye contact.

Technology is amazing and useful, but we need to remember it is a tool. Use technology, don't let it use you. Constantly checking our phones rather than interacting with one another takes time from the real world, meaningful interactions, and puts it out in cyberspace.

This is not an all-or-nothing situation; there is a time and a place for using phones, computers, tv, video games and computers. But because these activities are so rewarding, we can easily overuse them.

Find out more about these relationship busters and how to undo the damage at an upcoming Ask the Experts Talk.

Dr. Warner is a clinical psychologist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Assistant Director of the Center for Human Development at Beaumont Children's Hospital, Director of the Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center and Associate Professor for Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She can be reached at 248-691-4774 or visit Beaumont Hospital is a member of the Family Center's Association of Professionals.


Digital Distractions: How to Find a Balanced Relationship with Technology

November 15, 2017
7:00 pm
Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd, Grosse Pointe Farms

Register early - online at or call 313.447.1374

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