Women use their mobile phones in pubs and bars to deter men from chatting them up, according to new research. Kate Fox, of the Social Issues Research Centre, claims that the phone is a "barrier signal" or "personal bodyguard". Some women even pretend to be having a conversation when there is nobody at the other end. Other times they will scroll through messages to deter unwanted approaches, ensuring they don't have to inter-react with people around them. The Observer 23/07/06 page 6