What Does Phubbing Mean in a Text?

Phubbing means "Ignoring Someone by Looking at Your Phone."

"Phubbing" is a term that combines the words "phone" and "snubbing." It refers to the act of ignoring someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention to the person. For example:
    Imagine you're at a café catching up with a friend. You are sharing a story about a recent trip you took, but your friend is constantly checking their phone, responding to messages, and browsing through social media feeds. They're nodding their head periodically, but it's clear that they aren't fully listening or engaged in your story.
This is a classic example of phubbing. Despite being physically present, your friend is emotionally and mentally absorbed in their phone, leaving you feeling ignored and disrespected.

"Phubbing" was first popularized in the early 2010s and reflects the increasing prevalence of smartphones in daily life and social interactions. It is considered rude or dismissive and can undermine personal relationships. "Phubbing" implies that whatever is happening on the phone is more important or interesting than the person trying to communicate.

Image for Phubbing

When I write Phubbing, I mean this:

meaning of Phubbing

Phubbing combines the words "phone" and "snubbing."

Summary of Key Points

"Ignoring Someone by Looking at Your Phone" is the most common definition for Phubbing on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Ignoring Someone by Looking at Your Phone
Guessability:guessability level 4

4: Difficult to guess

Typical Users:typical user
Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at Phubbing

As it is formed by merging two words into one, phubbing is a portmanteau word. It is a combination of the words phone and snubbing (as in "deliberately ignoring someone.")

Phubbing can also be considered a neologism (i.e., a newly coined word or term which has emerged into everyday usage). Some neologisms are formally accepted into mainstream language (at which point, they cease to be neologisms), and some wither until they can longer be considered everyday terms. A neologism can be:
  • A completely new word (e.g., oversharing).
  • A new combination of existing words (e.g., phubbing, digital detox).
  • A new meaning for an existing word (e.g., sick).

Example of Phubbing Used in a Text

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