Modern Family Review: You just got Phubbed!

modern family “Connection Lost” is not only a hilarious episode of Modern Family, but it is also very well done. The fact that the whole thing is done through laptops, phones, etc. is fascinating, and the point is one we should all pay attention to. The technological asides like that are pretty fun throughout the episode, and, dare I say, even innovative? Claire buying Mitch a last-minute birthday present from, Mitchell texting Claire while she was onscreen with Cam, Lily demanding more iPad time: These are all things that happen every day now that we are all addicted to screentime. This was as modern as you can get considering the majority of communication now takes place at our fingertips while we stare at a phone, tablet or computer screen.

The 22 minute video really reflect on the title of the story, Modern Family. Being somewhere else doesn’t mean we couldn’t get in touch with our family instead in nowadays world everything is almost possible by invention of internet. Claire, who worried about Haley, her eldest daughter couldn’t stay still about not getting a reply from Haley through massage that she send. So, she keep trying to found out where is Haley by communicating with her other family members. By doing this, she become a multi tasking person which we can see on her desktop full of new media such as facebook, chatting boxes and skype.

We say a lot about ourselves in the way we navigate our digital lives. At least, that was certainly the case when the viewers spent an entire episode of Modern Family watching as Claire Dunphy navigated several crises using just her laptop. Her online conversations with her family and friends were suddenly there for us to scrutinize. Framing an entire episode through the lens of one character’s computer screen was almost uncomfortably personal. We learned a lot about Claire and about how her mind works, in ways that the usual plots couldn’t possibly convey.

What Claire perform through the computer is what we call computer mediated communication (CMC) by using new media.  CMC is use by many in teaching the class in order to enchance the effectiveness of the study (LeeSing & Miles, 1999: Warschauer, 1997). In this case, Claire performing CMC to interact with her family members. In the scene, we could see how effective the communication between the family members although they are far from each other. This allowed them to discuss the problem within the 22 minutes.  We also could see Claire do the last minute shopping online for her brother, Mitchell birthday’s present . However, all of this can only be happen if all of them have a smartphone or computer.

Have you heard of Phubbed


Have you been phubbed or have you phubbed anyone?



Claire: When I’m not there, I need you to be present and keep track of everyone.

Phil: Love you too

This was among the conversation between Claire and Phil when she called him to ask about the updates on their daughters. From this, he clearly was not paying attention to Claire. Another part was when Claire was having video call with her second daughter and asking her to call Phil and Phil casually replied his daughter by saying “tell mom I’m not here”. When he was obviously playing video game in the background. Although long distance communication could be overcome by having technology such as video calls, it is unfortunately not as interactive as it is supposed to.In the episode of “connection lost” for example, Phil was distracted by his game that he was not paying attention to his wife who was asking about their daughter. He seems clueless on why Claire was uptight and anxious on that matter. Although he was in the house with his children but he was not even aware of the location of his children resulting them panicking about Haley getting married in Vegas when all they know Haley have been sleeping the whole day in her room. When they finally got hold on Haley, they were all surprised to find Haley answering her phone and standing behind them in the same room. The distraction from gadgets could somehow cause us to be less attentive to our surroundings.

This is a perfect example of phubbed!

Technology in the Modern Family series as pointed out by Lhnat (2015) has both its merit(s) and demerit(s), without relying on the advantage of technology, they would have just checked Haley’s room and be relieved to find her sleeping soundly. However, they used it to track Haley’s phone to Vegas which has caused everyone to be panicked. Nevertheless, the technology advancement did helped their family to reconnect with everyone at the same time like their very own virtual family gathering which serves as a good cause on this case.


LeeSing, C., & Miles, C. (1999). The relative effectiveness of audio, video, and static visual computer-mediated presentations. Canadian Journal of Education, 24(2), pp. 212-221.

Lhnat, G. (2015, February 25). Modern family: “connection lost”: a gimmicky but successful storytelling experiment. Retrieved from

Stop phubbing. Retrieved from

Warschauer, M. (1997). Computer-mediated collaborative learning: theory and practice. The Modern Language Journal, 81(4), pp. 470-481.

(2013, August 5) Phubbing: the war against anti-social phone use. Retrieved from

P/s: Move the cursor towards image for image source.


4 thoughts on “Modern Family Review: You just got Phubbed!

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