Prodigy

'Phubbing' Originated in Australia but is a Global Epidemic

By: Akihiko Tse - Published: • References: stopphubbing and psfk
Phubbing: the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention is a popular and much-used term. Look it up.

Unfortunately, searching for the term in a dictionary won't yield any results, since it was a fake word created by Australian ad agency McCann as part of a campaign to highlight the dwindling existence of print dictionaries and raise awareness of the importance of words. As part of its campaign with Macquarie Dictionary, McCann created a website dedicated to phubbing -- stopphubbing.com -- and its devastating effects, like the "fact" that if it were a plague, it would "decimate 6 Chinas," or that 97 per cent of people claimed their food tasted worse as a result of being victimized by phubbing.

The campaign took off, and was picked up in countries as far as the UK, US, Mexico and Latin America. Apart from revitalizing the role of print dictionaries in our lives, Macquarie also wanted to stress the social problems linked to mobile devices and detached from one another we can become because of it.