In today’s digital age, smartphones have connected us constantly to the outside world. However, as our dependence on these devices increases, so does the prevalence of a behavior known as “phubbing.”

Phubbing is a term used to describe the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention to them.

We’ve all been guilty of it at one point or another. The impacts of phubbing can be significant, as it can lead to feelings of hurt and alienation for the person being ignored. It can also strain relationships and damage communication.

With phubbing being a growing concern in today’s society, Real Research, an online survey app, attempted to gather opinions through a survey on the impacts of phubbing.

The report on the impacts of phubbing highlights the following:

  • 42.92% of survey respondents are not aware of the act of phubbing
  • 29.95% find it annoying when they receive notifications and feel required to check and stop interacting
  • 16.95% say men are more likely to phub, while others (16.49%) say it is women who phub more

What Is Phubbing?

Even though the word may not be common and frequently used, the action likely is. However, 42.92% of survey respondents are not aware of the behavior. The majority (46.3%) are somewhat aware, while the rest (10.78%) are extremely aware of the act of phubbing.

Phone Usage vs. In-person Interactions

Regarding survey respondents’ smartphone usage, most (18.31%) are unimpacted by the presence/absence of their phones. While 16.8% feel stress-free when they avoid their phones, 11.6% only use their phones while waiting for their other tasks to finish (e.g., cooking).

Figure 1: Respondents’ phone usage during in-person conversations

In another case of using phones while having in-person conversations, a majority of them (29.95%) find it annoying when they receive notifications and feel the need to check and stop interacting. In comparison, 15.04% are most unlikely to check their phones, while 13.91% pay more attention to their phones.

Have You Ever Phubbed Someone?

“Sometimes”, said 26.96%. 21.17% phub always, while 18.68% do it often. 18.53% rarely do, and 14.66% never phub.

With how often they phub in a day, 44.8% do it once, 29.75% do it 2-3 times, and 16.59% phub 4 times or more.

When asked how long they do it, 42.18% phub less than 15mins, 28.77% phub less than an hour, and 18.89% phub 1-2 hours.

Have You Ever Been Phubbed by Someone?

The majority of respondents (26.92%) have “always” been phubbed. 24.88% have been phubbed sometimes, while 23.85% were often phubbed. 12.08% have been rarely phubbed, and the rest (12.27%) never experienced getting phubbed.

44.11% of survey respondents have been phubbed once a day, and the rest were phubbed 2-3 times (29.72%) and even 4 times or more (18.23%).

With how long they are being phubbed, 44.6% get phubbed in less than 15mins, 29.6% get phubbed in less than an hour, and 18.27% get phubbed in 1-2 hours.

Common Instances of Phubbing

When asked what is the common instance for someone to phub, a majority (30.55%) replied ‘at the dinner table.’ The rest answered during family gatherings (23.2%), in the living room (22.62%), and after coming home from the workplace/school (9.66%).

Figure 2: Common instances of phubbing

Causes and Effects of Phubbing

several factors contribute to the rise of phubbing. The majority of respondents (16.86%) believe wanting to stay updated with the world is what leads to phubbing. Furthermore, the impacts of phubbing lead people to escape reality for a while (16.4%), to smartphone addiction (12.58%), and boredom (8.9%).

Figure 3: What leads to phubbing?

The impacts of phubbing can be significant to anyone, whether you are the one using the phone or the one being ignored. The effects of phubbing, according to survey respondents, are the following:

Decreased communication (14.13%), the possibility of misunderstanding (11.27%), negative effects on mental health (10.59%), and social awkwardness (9.99%).

A Census on Who Is More Likely to Phub

16.95% say men are more likely to phub, while others (16.49%) say it is women who phub more. 18.85% say there is no significant difference between the sexes. In comparison, the majority (27.58%) say it varies from person to person.


Survey TitleSurvey on the Impacts of Phubbing
DurationJanuary 09 – January 16, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.