WHAT IS PHANTOM VIBRATION SYNDROME?
The increasing usage of cell phones has led some individuals to experience a phenomenon known as “phantom vibration syndrome”. The syndrome known as “phantom vibration” is characterized by an individual falsely perceiving that their cell phone is either vibrating or ringing at a time when it clearly isn’t. Those that experience phantom vibration syndrome may be engaging in an activity away from their cell phone, yet believe that it’s ringing.
Various related terms for this condition include:
- Ringxiety: Is a term representing anxiety associated to the ringing (or lack thereof) of a cell phone.
- Hypovibochondria: This is a blended term combining the psychological condition of hypochondria and vibration (vibro).
- Fauxcellarm: This creative term combining “faux” (fake) and “cell” (for cell phone) with the pronunciation similar to that of “false alarm.”
WHAT CAUSES PHANTOM VIBRATION SYNDROME?
There are numerous hypotheses regarding the specific cause of phantom vibration syndrome. Many believe that the brain becomes so conditioned to hearing frequent rings or vibrations, that the same neural pathways activated when it actually is ringing falsely burst with activity even when it isn’t. Individuals with phantom vibration syndrome are so accustomed to hearing their phone vibrate or ring, that their brain expects more.
WHEN DOES THE PHANTOM RINGING OR VIBRATING OCCUR?
There’s no particular time when the phantom ringing or vibrating is most likely to occur. It is likely subject to significant individual variation. Some have experienced the phantom ringing when watching TV or while doing something relaxing like taking a shower. It is speculated that after using the cell phone for prolonged periods, when a person attempts to take a break, their brain is so accustomed to hearing the “rings” and/or “vibrations,” that it falsely perceives them – hence their description as phantoms.
HOW TO REDUCE, PREVENT, OR OVERCOME PHANTOM VIBRATIONS OR RINGS?
If you want the phantom cell phone vibrations or rings to stop, it’s common sense what needs to be done: either turn the sound and vibrations off or avoid using your cell phone. In fact, you could even consider doing both – fasting from cell phone usage for some days and the days that you use your cell phone, keep it on silent.
HOW COMMON IS PHANTOM VIBRATION SYNDROME?
It appears as though this emerging phenomenon is relatively common, especially among individuals that frequently use their cell phones. Psychologists discovered that most people experienced phantom vibrations about once every couple week. It was discovered that most of them weren’t that upset by them – only about 10% of people thought they were a nuisance.
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