Have you heard of phubbing? It's a recently coined term—a combination of "phone" and "snubbing"—that describes the act of turning your attention to your phone in the presence of others. "Phubbing" is always a bad idea, but, like slot machines in a casino, our phones are designed to attract our attention. Dr. Emma Seppälä is Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, and Co-Director of the Yale College Well-Being Program at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Seppälä has written an important article in the Washington Post explaining why phubbing is so damaging to your personal relationships, and what you can do about it.
This holiday season, when we tend to spend more time around friends and family, try to be mindful of your phone etiquette. Are you unintentionally phubbing the people around you? What message are you sending to your loved ones when you focus on your phone instead of them? Try to put the phone down, or, ideally, out of sight. Turn off your notification; silence your ringer. Be present.
Perhaps the best gift you can give family and friends this holiday season is your attention.