In a recent survey of thousands of people in Austria by market research company Integral, 72% of respondents said they have neglected their conversation partner to respond to a message on their phone.
As one might expect, the phenomenon of ‘Phubbing’ - snubbing someone in favour of your phone - is more prevalent among the younger generations who have grown up with screens constantly around them.
Of those aged between 14 and 19-years-old, 92% admitted to messaging in social situations but even 80% of those aged 20-49-years-old said they have cut their conversation partner short to answer a message. For the over-70s, it drops to around 37%.
It is not unknown for ‘phubbing’ to cause relationship disputes and with men slightly more likely to ‘phub’ than women, they should take extra care not to neglect their girlfriend for their gadget.
Austrians are not alone in being ‘phubbed’. Research carried out in the United States and published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour found that nearly half of respondents to a similar survey there said they were ‘phubbed’ by their partner with 22.6% even saying it causes conflict in the relationship.
A survey of 2000 parents carried out by parenting website MyFamilyClub in the UK also found that as many as 67% there admitted they are regularly 'phubbed' by their children.
With so many in Austria admitting to doing it, tolerance of phubbing is quite high and - although 44% said it impaired conversation - only 2% described it as pure impoliteness.