Phubbing, the practice of ignoring companions in order to pay attention to their phone or other mobile devices, may lead to a vicious cycle as researchers have found that those who are "phubbed" by others, themselves often turn to their smartphones and social media to find acceptance.
The offended parties frequently jump online to find affirmation in the likes and shares and positive comments of social media, said the study published online in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.
"When an individual is phubbed, he/she feels socially excluded, which leads to an increased need for attention.
Instead of turning to face-to-face interaction to restore a sense of inclusion, study participants turned to social media to regain a sense of belonging," said lead author of the study Meredith David, Assistant Professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
"Being phubbed was also found to undermine an individual's psychological well-being. Phubbed individuals reported higher levels of stress and depression," David added.
The researchers surveyed more than 330 people across two studies and found that nearly half of those who were phubbed reported spending more than 1.5 hours on their phone each day.
In addition, one-quarter of those phubbed reported spending more than 90 minutes per day on social media sites.
More than a third of phubbed individuals indicated that they turn to social media to interact with new people.
More than half of individuals who said they were phubbed indicated that social media enhances their life and makes their life better.
The majority reported that people's comments on their social media posts make them feel affirmed and more accepted.
"Although the stated purpose of technology like smartphones is to help us connect with others, in this particular instance, it does not," David said.
"Ironically, the very technology that was designed to bring humans closer together has isolated us from these very same people," she added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)