Are you a phubber?

Phubber: Someone who engages in phubbing. 

Phubbing: The act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention to them. 

‘Stop Phubbing’ is a campaign against bad mobile etiquette developed by a Melbourne university student while on work experience, and it is slowly making its way around the world.

With some help from his work experience employer McCann, 23-year-old Alex Haigh developed a (humourous) website to bring attention to these bad manners which, let’s admit it, annoy us all (and we’ve probably been guilty of doing at least once).

The website has some fun ‘facts’ (’97 per cent of people claim their food tasted worse while being a victim of phubbing’), and suggestions for curing people of the affliction (‘stage an intervention’). Alex has also created posters for cafes and restaurants, and some handy downloads (my favourite is the wedding place card reminding people to enjoy the moment).

Alex told Melbourne’s Herald Sun “It has exploded, I’ve spoken to the BBC, people in Shanghai are making contact…the BBC was receiving ten tweets a minute on the topic yesterday morning.”

As to why it has been such a success? “I never expected this in the slightest. It’s one of those things that regardless of where you are, everyone has experienced it.”

The campaign is proof that a simple idea can go a long way if people connect with it, and it helps to solve a problem; in this case, drawing attention to the newest of bad manners.

Now all Alex needs it for ‘phubbing’ to be made official, and politely make its way into the Oxford Dictionary.

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