It seems that since the arrival of the smartphone in 2007, we've seen the arrival of a new problem, a uniquely 21st-century problem. While the world has gotten a lot more connected, people have become more disconnected, losing the art of conversation and real human interaction.
The problem? Ignoring the person in front of you in favor of your smartphone. Just about everyone does it.
But if these behaviors has become such a big issue, why weren't we talking about it? Well, probably because there wasn't a word for it until now.
I don't know if you know what phubbing is.
That phubbing is...
Phubbing—a term you may not have heard of.
Almost varying degrees of phubbing...
You've just been phubbed.
Ok, stop! Take a step back. Where do words like this even come from? Where did this one come from?
Well, on an otherwise unremarkable day in May 2012, a group of people gathered at the University of Sydney, Australia. Amongst the group was a lexicologist, a phonetician, a debating champion, a poet, several authors, and a cruciverbalist—that's a professional crossword maker. Their mission was to create a word that would get people to put their phones down, and get talking to each other again. And so, with a room full of brilliant minds, the search for word to describe ignoring others in favor of your phone began.
Phubbing. And he's a phubber. And would you stop phubbing me?
The word was released into the wild the following day, seeded into social conversations, and championed by a new movement known simply as "Stop Phubbing."
From its country of origin it spread, first, through the English-speaking world, then Brazil, and right through South and Central America. Europe was next, followed by Southeast and Central Asia. Within a year, over 180 countries were using it.
Phubbing: The war against anti-social phone use.
Why the "Stop Phubbing" campaign is going viral?
Phubbing can be "phatal."
Are you a phubber?
The backlash against phubbing.
Ignoring the person in front of you in favor of your phone was now a behavior with a name, and a behavior being questioned right around the globe, all because of a single word, a single word born in a university hall at the bottom of the world.
Language is always changing. Update your dictionary.
註一：此處是取 ph 發音和 f 一樣的特色，將原本是 fatal（致命的）單字變成 phatal，以和 phubbing 押頭韻。
- 「站在...那邊、支持」- In Favor Of
The problem? Ignoring the person in front of you in favor of your smartphone.