“Have You Ever Been Fubbed (Phubbed)?”

Ed asked me this when we were recording the podcast this week. My mind went on a riot of mainly rude thoughts trying to work out what fubbing could be. Well, it turns out that being fubbed is like being snubbed but the snubber is on their phone and ignoring you. I wonder if that should be Phubbed or Fubbed? Just Googled it and it is Phubbed.

Everybody that I know seems to have texter’s thumb that dances around like a fiddlers elbow having meaningful communication with those absent from the scene. One day I was in the local Gusto having a meal and when I looked up there was a table of eight people all on their phones and phubbing each other.

One sure thing is that when we lock into our devices, phones and tablets, we cease to live in the present. We are no longer in the surrounding environment. Often at least 90% of our consciousness is miles, if not millennia away. We cease to be where we are, with those around us or even with ourselves. We have become lost in the virtual world of…whatever?

I have been pondering the concept of snubbing others and the extension to the phone and phubbing and I am wondering what people felt like when the book came out. People that had once been chatty, social and engaged were now locked into the internalised fantasy in the their relationship with the book. I bet people looked at them and were offended by their excluding behaviour. Perhaps that would have been seen as being Bubbed.

But such things happen all the time, the person who is lost in the Tv. Is that Tubbed? Or when you are lost in a movie, Mubbed?

Maybe we Ub other people a lot.

The Ub has to be that moment when you disconnect with where you are and with those around you and are off somewhere in your head. You maybe there for a moment or minutes.

Mindfulness is the act of being present to your self in the moment. That is why meditation is so powerful because in body and breath focussed practise you cannot get much closer to yourself and your reality of being in the moment. When we Ub we lose that sense of living in the now. I think the worst Ub you can do is to Ub yourself. In ceasing to be present to yourself you can cause yourself untold physical, emotional and mental damage.

I think about those eight people around the table, what would it be like if one of them had looked up from their device to find that everyone else had left and that they were alone. What about the partner who looks up from their device to find they are now single. The driver who looks up from their device to find that they are now in A&E or the funeral parlour.

There are rumours in psychology that society is gradually becoming more autistic or aspergers. This means less social skills, less empathy, less connection with others. I guess we may see a split between those that live in an immediate hand on sensual world and those that live out a virtual existence.

One last thought. If the world that you are living in is so disengaging that you would rather Phub it, why are you in it? And if you do phub it for too long you may well find that when you do finally look from your device that your world has changed or that you are alone. Remember what you feed grows and what you starve dies.

I can imagine a world that creates a new set of concepts- “You Dirty Phubber”, “How dare you phub me, I’m out of here”, “Phub off”.

Be happy and try looking up from your device every now and then. You might actually enjoy living in the present.

Take care

Sean x

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