Primary News 31 May 2018

Phubbing: It never ceases to amaze me how new words are being “coined” on almost a daily or weekly basis.

How many of us had even heard of crypto currency a short time ago? We may have known the word Bitcoin and if you were like me thought “How could anyone in their right mind ever think this Bitcoin would ever be worth anything?” Well it’s had its up and downs and who knows where it will go from here but it’s all history now. However it is fast being joined by others words like Ethereum, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. I enrolled a little one for Prep 2019 this week and his baby brother 18-20 months old says three words – Mum, Dad and Google. He walks up to the table where the GOOGLE HOME device sits and says “Goo-gle” as he has heard his Mum and Dad give commands to Google Home.

I read this article from TIME magazine on the weekend about another new word which is being added to our vocabulary – phubbing.

“Phubbing”: MEANING – snubbing someone you’re talking to to look at a cell phone may not be part of your everyday vocabulary, but it’s almost certainly part of your everyday life. Just think about how often a conversation stalls because your friends (or you) have pulled out a phone and descended into an Instagram or Facebook black hole.

The phenomenon may seem like a relatively harmless, if annoying, part of modern life, but research is finding that it may be hurting your relationships.

Phubbing makes you feel less connected

Several studies have shown that phubbing makes face-to-face interactions less meaningful.

Phubbing can hurt your mental health

In the latest study on the subject, phubbing was found to threaten four “fundamental needs” — belongingness, self-esteem, meaningful existence and control — by making phubbed people feel excluded and ostracized. That may be particularly harmful because phubbing happens all the time, the researchers say.

Phubbing isn’t good for anyone

Of course, the person being snubbed is the one most hurt by phubbing. But the phubber is affected, too.

A February study found that people who used their phones while eating with friends or family said they enjoyed their meal less and felt more distracted and less engaged than those who didn’t use tech at the table. A follow-up experiment found that phone use may make face-to-face interactions away from the table less enjoyable, too.

On the other hand, others believe that we are losing the art of conversation and skills in being able to be present, connect deeply with others and have meaningful friendships in ‘real life’ because we’re trying too hard to keep up with too many people.”

This article in TIME magazine and the research mainly referred to adults but what about our children? Young people today seem to be even more connected to their phones, so maybe a conversation about phubbing even while your children are in the primary school, may prepare the “soil” for future years! Maybe as a family group you could establish some guidelines and protocols for the use of mobile phones when in social situations.

And remember that even at the end of each frantic day with the busyness of our lives in a modern world, there is tremendous value in sitting at the table having a meal together – without the TV or mobile phones – and actually talking to each other.

Cheryl Bryers, Head of Primary

 

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