I’m Just Phubbing Around

Languages are living organisms that update themselves and keep themselves current with our new attitudes and life-styles. English in particular is very good at coming up with new terminology, allowing speakers to increase communication skills and always be “in the loop.” But when we combine our need to communicate with technology, results are not always the best. Even though technology has been of great help when it comes to communicating and broadcasting information, it has made us its slaves and we haven’t even realized it.

It goes without saying that technology has gotten the best of us when it comes to communication. We have become so dependent on our communication devices, i.e., cellphones, tablets and computers, that it is hard to picture ourselves performing our daily routines without them. This so-called communication, through social media and texting, has made us isolate ourselves, and has made it so that face-to-face contact and conversation seem to be a lost art.

Even new terminology has arisen from this new lifestyle we seem to be adopting. Nowadays we find words such as “Phubbing”, which is used to describe the action of paying more attention to your phone rather than your surroundings. There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t see people (of all ages) just walking with their eyes fixated to their cellphones! “Phubbing” comes from two other words put together: Phone and Snubbing. Whether it is the newest gaming app on our phones (i.e., Pokemon Go), or the need to be aware of any current development in our family or circle of friends, every day we seem to narrow our view of the world to the inches of our phone screens.

Another word that seems to be more in use in today’s lexicon is “Nomophobia,” which refers to the fear of being disconnected by not having your phone with you. This one comes from three other words: The negative “no,” “mo” from mobile phone, and the noun “phobia.” The media has started using these words more frequently now, referring to the latter as the new disease of our time… being enslaved by our phones. A phobia is an irrational compulsive fear, which may seem extreme when it comes to something like our cell phones. But try leaving your cell phone at home one day and you might notice that even those of us who may not believe so, could be suffering from Nomophobia too.