«On New Year’s Eve we hosted our relatives from another city. It was my wife’s brother, his wife and daughter. My wife and I, as usual, had been preparing for the guests for a long time, straightening things out at our house and cooking a festive dinner. We exchanged congratulations and set down for the meal, and then their family took out their smartphones and started scrolling through them. My wife felt lenient towards this situation, but I was very outraged. I was waiting for guests, I was looking forward to lively conversation, and instead I felt superfluous in my own home».
— Andrey, 50 years old, teacher
In order to start writing this article, the author had to put aside his phone having to postpone checking all new publications in Instagram. But we won’t be talking about how the addiction to smartphones affects professional activities (although there is certainly a threat to it too). Let’s talk about how phubbing – phone addiction – affects the quality of life and relationships with others.
Constant “immersion” in a smartphone while communicating with real people became normal in modern society before the name was invented for this phenomenon. According to research, 53% of women and 21% of men aged 18 to 66 are distracted by smartphones during conversations with a partner at least twice a day. 37% of men and 67% of women feel like they are being regularly ignored by their companion in favor of phubbing. 
So why is it so difficult for us to tear ourselves away from smartphones, even being close to our loved ones? In this article, we’ll talk about the causes and consequences of phubbing and how to get rid of addiction.
The word “phubbing” first appeared in 2012 in Australia. A congress of writers and literary scholars was organized in order to define “being glued” to the phone while communicating with real interlocutors. As a result of long discussions, they settled on the word phubbing, made up of two words: phone (“phone”) and snubbing (“neglect”).
After a large Stop Phubbing campaign the new word was introduced worldwide. The campaign was carried out in Australia in order to draw attention to the problem.
In 2013, the word officially entered the Australian National Dictionary. 
A person who does phubbing was named “phubber.” And the one who is nearby and experiences unpleasant feelings from that kind of dismissive attitude towards real communication was named “phubbee”.
Of course we can register the addiction to a smartphone not only during communication with others, but also in other everyday situations. Researchers have identified a number of signs of phubbing. Based on them, we have compiled a phubber checklist.
We suggest reading these statements and marking those that describe your attitude. If you marked more than 3, then you should pay attention to this problem.
Kent University Scientists consider phubbing a psychological addiction, a form of Internet addiction. Stress, depression, fears, anxieties or other psychological problems may cause such kind of addiction, making people subconsciously try to escape to the virtual world using phone.
Smartphone addiction may also be caused by chain reaction. When one person sees that his interlocutor is distracted by a smartphone, he himself begins to behave in the same way. As a result, the constant and aimless use of a mobile phone during communication becomes the norm. 
In 2015, the results of a study of the influence of phubbing on romantic relationships were published. 453 people were interviewed. It turned out that partners of 46% of respondents were engaged in phubbing, 22% of respondents confirmed that it leads to conflict, and 36% of them admitted that they experience depression because of it, at least sometimes. 
Mobile phone addiction can lead to consequences such as:
A special worry is reserved for children and adolescents being addicted to phones. According to research, in Russia 89% of adolescents uses network resources daily. And only occasionally at this time they are engaged in the search for useful information for development and study. 
«For me friendship is an exchange of energy, opinions and decisions for mutual benefit. When I appoint a meeting with my female friend I expect her as much involved into our communication as I am. But sometimes something interferes in our relations – specifically, her mobile phone. And then my friend’s attention is divided between me and it half-and-half, and sometimes in a more disrespectful proportion. I would even say that she “disconnects” from our communication entirely, because true attention can only be of the first order: both visual and auditory.
I feel redundant, unimportant; I doubt my value in her eyes. And I’m starting to think that it would have been better if I spend this time by myself: go to the park, to a cinema or a theater. As Ostap Bender once said: “I can deal with it by myself!”
— Aglaya, 35 years old, theater actress
I believe everybody can share the feelings described above. When a friend or a loved one neglects live communication we feel jealousy, confusion, irritation, resentment and even anger. The situation looks even more ridiculous when, in response, we seek consolation in communicating online and immerse ourselves in our smartphones too. Smartphone addiction becomes something of a contagious disease.
And recall what you dreamed and planned together; outline the first steps for its implementation. It is important to understand what interests besides social networks you and your loved ones have. In order to do this you’ll need 15 minutes, a sheet of paper and a pen. Answer your questions in writing: “What would you do for pleasure in your free time if all smartphones in the world suddenly stopped working? What do you like to do, besides communicating with virtual friends and scrolling feeds on social networks? ”
Try to include at least 5-10 positions. These are hobbies and activities that could become an excellent substitute for phubbing. Now just add them to your daily schedule.
There are several independent ways how to learn not to be distracted by the phone and overcome dependence on it:
Any addiction is a learned form of behavior. If the tips presented above seem overly strict and difficult to implement, you should think more seriously about fighting the addiction to the Internet and your phone. Perhaps the right decision would be to turn to a psychologist or to modern methods of behavior correction.
7Spsy behavior modification technique is one of the effective ways to work with changing psychological attitudes. The method is based on the behavior theories of I.P. Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, A.A. Ukhtomsky. The behavior modification program lasts from 2 to 6 weeks. At the same time, the course is remote: you can practice at a convenient time in a comfortable environment.
You will be supported by a psychologist during the entire course. It will be possible to communicate with them via any convenient way: by telephone, in online chat rooms or by e-mail.
It’s really possible to get rid of addiction and limit pointlessly losing your time with smartphone. Be prepared for hard work on correcting behavior in order to once again recall the pleasure of live communication and the brilliance of real life.