Are You Phubbing Your Spouse?

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Are You Phubbing Your Spouse?

By Ashley Willis (from

phubbing“Phubbing” is ruining relationships, according to a recent study.  It’s rampant, and it’s a behavior we’ve grown to accept as a society.  So, what is phubbing?

A friend of mine sent me an article on phubbing, and I read it only because I honestly had never heard the term before.  When I began reading it, I quickly realized that most of us are extremely familiar with the act of phubbing–we just didn’t know it had a name.

So what is it?

According to the article, “Phubbing’ is ruining American relationships,” phubbing your partner is the act of being on your cellphone instead of giving them your full attention when the two of you are together.  

As my husband, Dave, and I have discussed in many of our blogs, excessive cell phone usage is extremely detrimental to marriages.

According to the article, partners who felt “phubbed” were not only dissatisfied with their relationship, but many eventually experienced depression over time.  This is very concerning.

As a married couple, we must prioritize our spouse over our cell phone. This probably seems like a given to most of you, but Reader, believing this and doing it are two different things.  I know, because I struggle with this issue too.

I feel the pressure of responding to emails and Facebook messages.  I love perusing social media, too.  But, I can’t let these things control me.  They are TOOLS, and if I’m not careful, they can become real TIME-SUCKERS that take away from my family.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen the disappointment in my husband’s face when I wouldn’t put my phone down, and I kept on looking at my phone any way.  In those moments, I was choosing a device over my husband.  I chose to retreat from my husband–who was right in front of me–instead of engage with him.  I will never get those moments back, but, thankfully, I’ve learned from my mistakes.


So, let’s take a good look at our marriages.  Think about your communication habits.  Are you phubbing your spouse?  If so, please join me in choosing to STOP obsessing over our phone and giving our partner our first and best attention…before it’s too late.


A Suicide Prevention App

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This New App Is Unlike ANYTHING Else on Your iPhone

It’s literally designed to save lives.

By Brittney McNamara

Sad girlAsking for help is hard. But creators of a new app, Mind Me, are hoping to make it a little easier for people considering suicide. According to the World Health Organization, more than 800,000 people across the globe commit suicide each year, and many more attempt it. While suicide is often preventable through treatment, care, and awareness, people considering suicide don’t always have access to the help they need.

MindMe wants to change that, by putting those resources right on your phone. Because people can’t always get necessary care at the exact moments they need it, MindMe will aggregate coping strategies and recommendations from a person’s therapist in the app so the user can access them at any time. In its beta stages, the app is not meant to replace a therapist, but to be used alongside one to fill the gaps.

App researcher David Putrino, Ph.D, director of telemedicine and virtual rehabilitation at Burke Medical Research Institute, told BuzzFeed Health the in-person professionals will develop specific strategies for someone at-risk of attempting suicide. When feelings of suicide pop up, the person can look back at the strategies on their phone for an in-the-moment reminder of how to suppress them.

“We hear from therapists that no matter how carefully they explained strategies to their clients, if someone is inconsolably upset because a trigger occurs, they’re not going to remember what they’ve learned in therapy,” Putrino said.

When the trigger occurs, MindMe might show the user a video message from their therapist, give them emergency contact numbers, or suggest playing a phone game. Basically, the app might suggest anything that has been helpful to that specific person in the past. It also lets users log triggers and emotions to help their therapist track their progress.

Some similar apps exist, but MindMe researchers say they mostly provide generic tips, not ones tailored for the user. By using the app in tandem with a therapist and logging daily feelings, the researchers behind the app hope it will lead to better mental health care. To stand above the other therapy apps MindMe hopes to utilize strategies such as google play store optimization, awareness campaigns, and news articles, amongst others. This should increase app visibility and increase the number of people it helps.

To get there, though, they need some money. MindMe is hoping to raise $100,000 to take the app to a larger stage of clinical trials. Here is the link to their crowd funding page

“We really can’t stress enough how rapidly we need to roll out this solution so it can start helping people immediately,” Putrino told BuzzFeed.

On Wednesday morning, the app had raised $16,785. For Anna Smeragliuolo, one of the minds behind the app, this isn’t about business, it’s personal.

“I want people to know [suicide] is not a problem you can foresee with any one particular type of behavior or personality. Mostly, I want people to know it’s real,” she told BuzzFeed. She recently lost her father to suicide.

“My father worked in mental health and behavioral services,” she says. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do or how happy you appear – no one person is immune to this kind of disease.”

If you or someone you know is in danger of harming themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1 (800) 273-8255.


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with one of our counselors. If the thoughts of suicide are current, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or call 911 right away.



How Our Phones Disconnect Us

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cracked broken phone disconnectFeeling disconnected from friends, family, and people in general? Feeling like your relationships skim the surface but never go deep?

Try turning off your phone and stowing it out of site.

MIT professor and researcher Sherry Turkle provides this insight from her book Reclaiming the Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age:

What phones do to in person conversation is a problem. Studies show that the mere presence of a phone on the table (even a phone turned off) changes what people talk about. If we think we might be interrupted, we keep conversations light, on topics of little controversy or consequence. And conversations with phones on the landscape block empathic connection. If two people are speaking and there is a phone on a nearby desk, each feels less connected to the other than when there is no phone present. Even a silent phone disconnects us.


So it is not surprising that in the past twenty years we have seen a 40 percent decline in the markers for empathy among college students, most of it within the past ten years. It is a trend that researchers link to the new presence of digital communications (p 21).

For more on the topic, listen to one of her podcasts on the book:

If you are feeling an interpersonal disconnect and would like to take steps to connecting in healthy ways, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

Is Your Smartphone Making You Dumb?

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cell phone

Texting while talking and scrolling down Facebook while walking are common examples of the ways we actively use our cell phones to multitask through the day, diverting our attention from the job at hand.

Even more disturbing, according to two studies from the University of Southern Maine, the mere presence of a cell phone can reduce the quality of your task performance.

Groups of two students took two types of tests – crossing out like number and drawing lines to connect a sequence of numbers – at two varying degrees of difficulty. In the first study, the proctor’s cell phone was left on the desk of one test taker, while the other participant’s desk had a small notebook on it.  In the second study, some students placed their own cell phone on their desk during the tests, while another set had to adhere to a “phone off and away” policy.

Both groups completed the same amount of work in each study, but when researchers examined the results, they observed that the participants exposed to cell phones performed about 20 percent worse than their tech-free counterparts.

Because your phone doesn’t even have to be in your hand to decrease your cognitive abilities, perhaps it’s best to keep it hidden during tasks that demand your full attention.

By Jacquie Isines

Psychology Today, March/April 2015 p 38.