An article written by
Murk Qazi:


As I look around sitting in a restaurant, I notice that a lot of the people have their phones in their hands or seem to be alert for it to ring anytime; making sure it’s within their reach and placed in plain eyesight. A giggling group of adolescents is busy taking multiple pictures of their food and selfies of themselves. Then there is a couple sitting in a corner table; the man completely engrossed in his phone and the woman looking around while talking in monotone. That one hits me. That right there seems to be a picture of my own life.

murk-qaziWith majors in Psychology, Murk Qazi has BS Social Sciences degree to her credit, conferred by Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology. She has developed numerous research studies in the domain of Psychology and otherwise. being a believer of meaningfulness, she is determined to make her career, and life in general, as much productives as her potentials would allow. Other interests include reading, art, literature, aesthetics, and food. 

Editor: Arman Ahmed

And it’s just the problem of a few. A large number of people are dissatisfied with their intimate relationships due to their partner’soveruse of smartphone. Why is that? Because more time on phone means that there is lesser time for close and face to face interactions. This limited contact has become so common that a term phubbing has been developed an act to snubbing someone by paying more attention to phone while being in their company. This, in terms of social context, is considered to be a very inappropriate and impolite gesture.

It has been pointed out in a very recent research conducted by McDaniel and Coyne that over use of smartphones can be intrusive in face to face interactions. One of the two partners is always absorbed in phone activities which obviously creates feelings of disapproval and resentments on the other side.


This also creates feeling of doubt and self-questioning as the other person might think that they are not important enough for their partner, or if the partner does not find them interesting enough. Feeling of jealousy can also surface due to the doubts of being cheated upon through another connection on the phone.

Another study conducted by Hanna Krasnovainvolving people between 26 to 40 years of age was focused on relationship outcomes in the presence of factor of partner phubbing. The age group being investigated is very active in phone usage while at the same time seeks sustainable intimate relationships as well. It involved questions like when was the last time they can recall their partner being more active on the phone than paying attention to them. As one would expect it, the answers were very close and recent calls. They involved situations and places like going out for a walk, in park, in bed before sleeping, etc.

Consequently, their reported emotions were of sadness, anger, loss of attention, boredom, and indifference to name a few. Researchers also tried to identify the coping mechanisms of partners who are facing phubbing and the participants reported to voice their concerns and confront their partners. Many were curious so they tried to spy in their partner’s phone screen, some even decided to do the same and mirror the act.
a comparative analysis of gender differences was also made. When considering feelings, males reported to be more happy as compared to females who reported feelings of sadness and loss of attention. When it comes to dealing with phubbing behavior, males reported to adopted mirroring the act. The authors also comment that males seem to adopt more positive coping mechanisms and behaviors to deal with phubbing as compared to females.

Lastly, investigation was made on the tripod of partner phubbing, the feelings of jealousy, and relational the surprise of the researchers, the results showed more than just a feeling of annoyance over being ignored. It was found that the couples had an impacted relational cohesion due to the feelings of jealousy one partner feels as a result of partner phubbing by another.

Here it would be important to expand on the concept of jealousy, which is not just limited to partner rivalry or threat of being replaced. It can also be due to the over involvement of partner with work, friends, etc. as a matter of fact, it is also reflected in the declining quality of and satisfaction from the relationship. And it is not something new.

Earlier researches have also identified a relationship of jealousy and social interactions. But this feeling is much stronger towards social objects as compare to inanimate ones. This can mean that smart phones are perceived to be social objects by reason can be the ability of smartphones to connect the user with other people in a matter of seconds.

To conclude it, authors are of the opinion that the act of phubbing itself is not the issue. The problem arises with the feelings this act elicits. For males the feelings are more positive as compared to feelings, hence they tend to be more satisfied with their relationships as compared to females. Women on the other hand have complex and variant coping mechanisms and feel negative emotions due to phubbing, which explains why they tend to be less satisfied with their partners.