Thais choose phones over friends

More Thais are avoiding direct contacts with people around them when their mobile phones are within reach. A survey showed 71 per cent of respondents "phubbing" and most of them do that out of boredom or pop-up alerts on their handheld device.

Phubbing is the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention.

In the survey by Weber Shandwick, 96 per cent of an unknown number of respondents aged from 12 to 45 said that they have been phubbed.

Eighty per cent of phubbing victims feel frustrated, angry or like the person is uninterested in them or the conversation.

Eighty per cent chose "during a one-on-one conversation" as the most frustrating situation to be phubbed. Ninety per cent phub because of boredom or something important comes up on their phone. "While traveling together (car, BTS/MRT, etc.)" was chosen as the most acceptable place to phub, with "at a bar" as the second most acceptable. Nine per cent chose "none are acceptable." 84.31 per cent are against phubbing.

"I phub because I can't say what I want to the person in front of me. I can let out my anger about them to my online friends," said one 12-year-old female.

"I do it because the people around me wouldn't mind anyway," said a 35-year-old male.

"When I'm insecure around people, I phub. I can chat with my friends who make me feel more confident," said a 20-year-old male.

"I phub all the time, but I know it lessens real interaction because I don't communicate directly with the people around me. I'm trying not to do it as much," said one female, age 15. "We shouldn't phub when other people are trying to have a conversation with us, but I still phub anyway even though I know I shouldn't."