Blogs » Digital Babble » Word of the day: Communifaking


Have you ever pretended to be in the middle of a cell phone conversation or pretend to read a text message just to avoid other people? If so you are a communifaker!

I promise I did not just make up that word. You may have heard this term used before, I ran across it again today as I was browsing

Definition: Communifaking

The practice of pretending to be on a phone call or reading a text message or email, so as to look busy and avoid being bothered in public. [Source: GeekSugar ]
A report on ABC has a little more on this fascinating phenomenon . (Maybe it's not that fascinating, but I like using the word phenomenon, which, I may add, is a real word.)

Dominique Gonzales is a chronic communifaker.

"Absolutely, I communifake," the 27-year-old told "It's a little rude if you just ignore somebody. But if I see somebody at work who I want to avoid speaking with, I'll just take out my phone and pretend to be making a call."


The most common reason, the study says, is that it's something to do while waiting for friends. But using the phone to avoid speaking with someone is the second most popular reason for some more merciless communifakers.


Patricia Wallace, a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, is an expert on information technology and psychology and said that the phenomenon can be explained, in part, by "impression management."

"If you go to a pub and you're sitting by yourself, that says something. Rather than to be thought of as a loner or not desirable as company, you use your virtual connection to look like you're more desirable and involved and actively engaged with others," she said.
[Source: ABC News]


Maybe Wallace has a point there, but I think I agree more with this statement:

In addition to demonstrating connections to others, she said, pretending to be on the phone gives people the opportunity to show off the phone: a very powerful status symbol.


There you go Internet. It all boils down to us just wanting to show off our phones. Yes, even I have been guilty of communifaking. The only reason I pretended to talk was so I could show off my super fancy cell phone. This was in my pre-iPhone days (ok, it was just last year). I don't have any pics of me with that rad phone, but here is one just like it:

Jealous? You know you are.