Phubbing: Perceptions, reasons behind, predictors, and impacts

Yeslam Al-Saggaf, Sarah O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


There is empirical evidence that people phub more frequently those who are closely related to them than those less close to them and that phubbing is not only transforming the norms of human communication but also this behavior has detrimental impacts on people. This review of the literature was undertaken to understand the impacts of phubbing on people, how people perceive phubbing, what are the reasons behind people's phubbing and what predicts this behavior. The review of the literature has revealed that phubbing heightened feelings of jealousy between romantic partners, weakened the bond between them, lowered their relationship satisfaction and increased their rates of depression. Phubbing was perceived as rude, offensive, and a violation of social norms. It undermined perceptions of empathetic concern, closeness, interpersonal trust, and conversation quality. The review of literature has also revealed that technological addictions, such as, smartphone addiction, SMS addiction and social media addiction, boredom, fear of missing out, and lack of self‐control all predicted phubbing behavior but that reciprocity, the tendency to engage in more than one task at the same time (multitasking) and fulfillment of an immediate need or gratification may explain why people engage with their smartphone during face‐to‐face conversation with others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Behavior and Emerging Technologies
Issue number2
Early online date10 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019


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