11 signs that show you’re a phubber

stop phubbing, phubbing
Taken from the stop phubbing website

These days, our obsession with our mobile phones makes it notoriously difficult to hold a meaningful conversation with anyone without them whipping out their phone while you talk. Until recently, many had no idea that there is actually a term for this type of behaviour.

Coined by Alex Haigh, the term phubbing refers to “the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention”. Here are 11 signs that you or a friend could be a phubber.

  1. As you read this post right now you’re accessing it from a mobile device.
  2. Quality time with your loved one = the two of you sitting side by side typing away on your smart phones.
  3. You get a notification that your friend just checked in to a place. You comment on their post. You receive a comment on your post saying “Dude I’m standing right next to you.”
  4. You’ve asked to borrow a phone charger off a complete stranger or used one of those public power points to charge your phone because your battery died.
  5. You chat with your friend about how you miss them. You plan a get together. You get together face to face. You spend most of your time at that get together chatting to your other friend telling them how much you miss them and how you two should get together. You get together. You get where I’m going with this right?
  6. You find that people often have to repeat themselves around you even though you don’t have a hearing problem.
  7. You live in a high rise in Johannesburg. You don’t know any of your neighbours but you know a guy called Mouchine Saidi from Tunisia (You ‘met’ on facebook during during the Arab spring and yet the two of you have never seen each other face to face and you’ve never been to Tunisia)
  8. You’re still reading this now as you sit around a table with your friends.
  9. You’ve actually tweeted, updated your status, instagrammed etc while you were at a wedding…your wedding.
  10. You missed the birth of one of your children not because you were not there but because you were busy fiddling with your phone trying to figure out how to stream the birth on the internet.
  11. You eventually figured it out but by then the baby had been born already so all you got is a shot of your foot then as you moved the camera to shoot your wife and the newborn your battery died.

So are you a phubber? Leave a comment (hopefully you are not accessing this via a mobile phone).


How to steal an election

Ballot paper, specimen ballot paper
Spoilt for choice.

Being a dictator is not easy. In addition to ruling the country there are stresses that come with the job. You have to worry about the economy, international relations, making opposition members ‘disappear’ and deciding which wine to drink with your caviar. Of course all these things come with the territory. As a dictator you will quickly find that for you to stay in power there is one skill that is an absolute must have i.e how to steal an election.

One must never feel guilty for resorting to this method of letting the people ‘express their will’. Think of it this way: Superman flies, Spiderman spins webs, Batman fights, Hulk has unlimited strength, rapid tissue regeneration powers, and inexhaustible stamina and what’s your superpower? You can rig… oops sorry hold elections to affirm the people’s unwavering support of your policies. It will involve a lot of hard work on your part.

Firstly, you need to secure the media and by secure I mean literally. If you can find all the media people in your country and tie them up somewhere that would be ideal. For those you can’t tie up gentle persuasion is advised. Since you control the media already, if you’re the incumbent, the former wouldn’t be necessary because the latter would be easier. Starve the opposition of airtime on the mass media so that for most of your voters the very first time they even hear about the other candidates is in the voting booth. With your name the only one in their sub conscience in the run up to elections, it’s obvious who they will choose.

You’ve heard it said that too much of a good thing can be bad? Well, when it comes to ballot papers with an X next to your name this is not necessarily true. Extra ballot papers are inexpensive to print as they are part of the election budget. Just don’t end up winning by 100% or something crazy like that. Unlike American Idols you want to make it look like it was a competition from the get go.

To aid the facade of your honest victory resist the urge to use violence… at least on camera. When the results are declared, act surprised but state you were always very confident that the people would vote for you. You must add that the will of the people has prevailed and focus should now shift to bettering the country as a whole regardless of political affiliation.