Let’s face it, most of us in the western world are addicted to technology and our mobile phones are no exception. Not only are our contacts on there, but our social networking apps and calendars are too. Once upon a time, a date at the movies, dinner or the theatre meant you got someone’s undivided attention, but not anymore. With the advent of the smart phone some seventeen years ago, the iPhone seven years ago and the iPad four years ago; face to face interaction is taking a back seat to technology.
Phubbing on a date is a huge turn-off. No-one should actively engage in phubbing and taking two proactive steps before phubbing occurs should stop the process dead in its tracks. If it does happen to you, there is a simple and quick step you can take to not only stop your date from phubbing, but also ensure that it never happens again.
Switch your phone off
When you meet someone for a date, tell them that you are going to turn your mobile phone off so that you can give them your undivided attention. If you absolutely can’t turn it off, (sick kids, waiting for a pressing text about a new job etc.) at least put it on vibrate, in your pocket so the nasty little gadget is out of sight, and hopefully, out of mind. When your date see’s you do this, even if they weren’t thinking of doing it themselves, they will want to follow your lead, or risk an evening alone.
Don’t talk tech
It’s a date! The purpose is to spend quality time getting to know each other, discover each other’s likes and dislikes and to find out if the chemistry is there. No matter how difficult it might be to start talking to each other, just do it, and don’t discuss the mobile phone either. Your new mobile phone, their new iPhone, your latest apps and the pictures they took on vacation are all off limits for the evening. If your date brings up the topic, simply tell them you like to enjoy your dates without the phone as the third wheel. They should get the hint pretty quickly.
Dealing with a phubber
If, despite your best efforts, you can’t get your date to switch off their mobile phone and they repeatedly stop the flow of the conversation to text someone or answer a call, you need to decide whether they are worth the bother. While one quick two minute call might not be the end of the world, it can change an evening’s atmosphere from fun to serious in an instant.
Be upfront and say that you don’t mind one two minute phone call, or one text, and mean it. If someone keeps repeatedly looking at the phone, reading texts while on a walk, or laughing at something you can’t share, it’s time to bail. Simply let them know that ‘I prefer my dates to pay attention to me, now phubb off’. Either they chase after you and apologise profusely or you will know that their chemistry is with their phone and you can move on to someone new – someone more interesting!