Dark Side of Mobile Phone Technology: Assessing the Impact of Self-Phubbing and Partner-Phubbing on Life Satisfaction

Imran Mahmud, Kodisvaran Supramaniam, Nusrat Jahan, Afsana Begum, Adiba Masud
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 18  •  2023  •  pp. 893-914

The study aims to explore the attributes of self-phubbing and partner-phubbing, as well as their impact on marital relationship satisfaction and the quality of communication. Furthermore, it aims to comprehend how these characteristics could impact an individual’s total level of life satisfaction.

The study aims to establish a clear association between specific mobile phone usage behaviors and their subsequent impact on relationship satisfaction and the quality of communication. This study investigates the effects of two types of behaviors on interpersonal relationships: self-phubbing, which refers to an individual being deeply absorbed in their own mobile phone use, and partner-phubbing, which refers to witnessing one’s partner being deeply absorbed in a mobile device.

This study utilizes a quantitative approach. The poll involved 150 smartphone users in Malaysia who are in relationships, and they participated by completing a questionnaire. The data analysis was performed using the Partial Least Squares-based Structural Equation Modeling method.

This research addresses the gap and gives insight into the consequences of self and partner phubbing and its impact on the relationship and life satisfaction among partners by providing a research model that was validated with primary data.

The results of this survey show that smartphone conflicts harm relationship satisfaction but not communication quality. It was revealed that communication quality does not directly bring a negative impact on life satisfaction, but it directly affects relationship satisfaction, which, in turn, harms life satisfaction.

The findings of this study can be used by practitioners to improve relationship counseling and therapy. Through the integration of the notion of phubbing and its impact on relationship happiness, couples can receive guidance on how to reduce the tension that arises from using smartphones.

Previous research was conducted exclusively on only an individual’s phubbing behavior, but limited work was done on the partner’s phubbing behavior. Future researchers can enhance this model by identifying more factors.

This study addresses broader societal ramifications in addition to the dynamics of particular relationships. This study promotes a more mindful use of smartphones by exposing the complex relationships between technology use, relationship happiness, and general life contentment. This will ultimately lead to healthier relationships and improved societal well-being.

In the future, we are going to implement an artificial neural network approach to test this data to predict the most important factors that influence phubbing.

phubbing, cellphone conflicts, communication quality, relationship satisfaction, and life satisfaction
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