What Is Sidebarring?


Have you ever heard of sidebarring? The chances are you have no idea what it is, but it’s a growing trend in the dating world and it has to stop!

What is this sidebarring?

Imagine you’re on a date. You’re in the swing of things now and telling your date a hilarious story about yourself. Just before you reveal the important twist you’ve been building up to – your date grabs their phone and starts scrolling through. This is sidebarring, looking at your phone midway through a conversation.


Oops, I’ve done that…

Well, you’re definitely not alone. The average person checks their phone at least 28 times a day, and 71% of people admit to caving in and scrolling on their phone when they are meant to be talking to a friend or a date. It’s a very real temptation, and for a lot of people it’s such a strong habit they don’t even realise they are doing it.

Why’s it so bad?

Keeping conversation going on dates is hard enough, without the distraction of a sidebar. For the talker, watching their date grab their phone is likely to throw them off what they are saying and they’ll get the impression their date is bored and fed up of the current conversation. If you’re the one guilty of grabbing your phone, even though you think you’re a great multitask-er, the chances are you won’t be able to keep up with the story being told to you. So not only is it bad manners, it can also make you inattentionally deaf.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that it’s actually impossible to pay attention to a conversation while texting.The research claimed that using our phones might actually make us partially deaf to the sounds around us, something they dubbed “inattentional deafness”.


How do I stop?

Check your phone when you arrive at your date and by all means update your friends. Once your date has arrived put your phone in your pocket. If the date is going well – resist the temptation to look at your phone at all in their presence. If the date is not going well – take a toilet break and use your phone when you’re out of sight. With your phone away, you’ll be more focussed on conversation and will be rewarded with a more accurate first impression of your date.

Now you know all about sidebarring, you can go forth and break this trend. Together let’s put an end to sidebarring!

Until next time,

The Just Singles Team