The act of ignoring someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead— partner phone snubbing— is leading to higher levels of depression and ruining relationships, researchers at Baylor University in Texas have found.

Phone snubbing, or “phubbing,” was found to create conflict among partners, leading to low levels of reported relationship satisfaction, Fox5NY reported.

“These lower levels of relationship satisfaction, in turn, led to lower levels of life satisfaction and, ultimately, higher levels of depression,” study author James A. Roberts, a professor of marketing at Baylor, said in a news release.

Researchers conducted two surveys. The first, of 308 adults, asked participants to identify actions they’d identify as snubbing by their romantic partners. In addition to “phubbing,” actions included keeping a cell phone within eyesight.

The second survey of 145 adults found that more than 46 percent of participants reported being “phubbed” by their partners. The results showed that 22 percent said “phubbing” caused conflict in their relationship, while only 32 percent said they were very satisfied with their relationship.

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“In everyday interactions with significant others, people often assume that momentary distractions by their cell phones are not a big deal,” study author Meredith David, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, said in a news release. “However, our findings suggest that the more often a couple’s time spent together is interrupted by one individual attending to his/her cellphone, the less likely it is that the other individual is satisfied in the overall relationship.”
 

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