Phub You

There is a grassroots movement out there to shame you for daring to use your smartphone in public settings.

It was started by a kid in Australia, Alex Haigh, who — and this is only speculation on my part — must be so boring, everyone around him would rather interact online than have to deal with his self-righteous indignation and highly distorted sense of right and wrong. Because he has such low self-esteem and thinks everyone around him is showing bad manners by not hanging on his every golden word, he has launched a campaign called “Stop Phubbing.”

And the campaign, it appears, is going viral because, as you know, the world is full of blow-hard busy-bodies who believe they are more important than anything you could possibly do on your
Mobile phone. News of this month-old cult has already reached the mainstream media and we know how slow they are to picking up trends.

Phubbing, if you don’t know yet, is one of those cutsie morphemes where you blend two words together to get another word that causes people to scratch their heads, like blog (weB LOG) did for years. The mashing of words (SMoke and fOG became smog) is called portmanteau. So as you’re reading this on your smartphone and someone accuses you of phubbing (PHone snUBBING) tell them you’re increasing your vocabulary and they can take their snooty opinion and shove it up their ass.

They even have a website: but if you go there on your smartphone, you get a message, “Get off your mobile and view this website on your desktop.” Then, if you try to click through it calls you a “Mother Phubber!”

Name-calling? Really?

Since I am writing this on my mobile device and will publish it from my mobile device, I can’t view their website and take in their pearls of wisdom about the evils of phubbing. So I really can’t warn you against their storm-trooper tactics or post a description of their jackbooted thugs, but be prepared for anything. Maybe they’ll attack us like Mitt Romney in high school but instead of cutting our hair, they’ll tattoo a big red “P” on our foreheads.

So phubbing, by their definition, is the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at their phone instead of paying attention to whomever they are with.

The assumption being, of course, is that the person or persons that are with you in the social setting are so much more important than what’s on your phone.

It has never occurred to them that it is they who are being rude by demanding all of your attention. They are being selfish, controlling, and possessive. They think they are all that and a bag of chips.

But they aren’t all that or even just a bag of chips. If they were, we wouldn’t feel the need to pull out our phones, now would we?

I admit, there is a small minority of so-called phubbers out there who, when their phone beeps, have to check and see what the latest celebrity tweet is. But those people are assholes in all aspects of their lives, not just this one area. I mean really, who gives a shit what the Kardashians think?

On the other hand, many of us are doing business. I write on my phone. I do research for my writing on my phone. I check emails for submission responses to my writing on my phone. And, of course, I have eBay alerts that must be checked or I could lose out on my bid for that mint Silver Age copy of DC’s first publication of “Tarzan of the Apes” by Joe Kubert. You wouldn’t want me to miss that, would you?

To the anti-phubbers, phubbing is rude behavior, but maybe the rude one is actually the accuser, trying desperately to draw attention to themselves while we’re concentrating on our online communications.

Anti-phubbers are just jealous and resentful of our online popularity. The “Stop Phubbing” movement is full of contemptible, loathsome wretches who think it is their duty to pass judgement upon others. To shame us. Instead, they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to make their petty opinion the prevailing one.

When they call us mother phubbers, what they are really saying is, “Damn. I wish I was popular on the Internet, too. Instead, I’m just as boring a loser there as I am in real life.”

Stop Phubbing? How about Stop Being Judgmental? (Or should I call it “Bedgemental?”)

The problem with the world isn’t too much Phubbing, it’s too many people telling us what we can and cannot do, trying to dictate when and where we can Phub. They’re trying shame us from Phubbing in public, but we won’t be denied! Raise your mobile device proudly and say to Alex and his cult of bullies: Phub you!

It’s my smartphone and I’ll Phub if I want to, Phub if I want to, Phub if I want to…



One thought on “Phub You

  1. I refuse, point blank, to ever in my entire life use that particular portmanteau. Because really…it sounds like something Sponge-Bob would say…

    Also, this new attitude that people/things online are somehow less “real” or “important” than real-life is frankly insulting. Some of my best friends are entirely online, and sometimes I like to include them in fun-times by talking to them. Also, frequently I use my smart-phone to ENHANCE the experience I’m having offline with people around me.

    Rrrrgh, that kid’s attitude makes me furious.

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