A woman text messages while walking across the street in San Francisco in this June 2010 photo. (AP / Ben Margot)
Are you guilty of phubbing? It's the habit of snubbing those around you and staring at your smartphone instead. To some, it's another example of how smartphones are ruining social interaction. But could the devices actually be bringing us closer together?
Even the casual observer, one prepared to look up briefly from his or her smartphone, will notice that our hand-held technology has us captivated, often at the expense of ignoring our neighbours.
We may not know if this is a new societal scourge or just a new way to be rude. But we do know it has a name: Phubbing. The term was coined by a marketing firm about a year ago for the act of "snubbing" the people around you by focusing on your phone. (There's even a website devoted to stopping phubbers by shaming them into submission.)
Video: Louis C.K. on smartphones
During this segment, we aired a recent clip of comedian Louis C.K. explaining to Conan O'Brien that smartphones may be getting in the way of "just being a person."
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