A city in northern China has introduced a special pedestrian lane on one of its roads, exclusively for slow-walking smartphone users.

The pavement along the Yanta Road in Xi’an has now established the special lane for so-called “phubbers”, people who stare at their mobile phone screens and ignore everything else around them.

The Chinese lane is painted red, green and blue, and is 80cm wide and 100m long – hopefully enough to distinguish it from your typical Chinese traffic lane.

And, in case you were wondering, the Oxford Living Dictionary defines  phubbing as “the practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device.”

It says the word is a blend of “phone” and “snubbing” and says it was coined by an Australian advertising agency as part of a marketing campaign with the Macquarie Dictionary.

Those of us who have been repeatedly phubbed on Aussie footpaths – or should that be “phubpaths”?  can only cheer.

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