Have you ever thought you felt your cell phone vibrate, but found a blank screen when you looked at it? Well, apparently this feeling is common enough for doctors to study. Well, psychologists and doctors are saying this is something called, “ringxiety.”
Basically, everyone is a little too attached to their cell phones. Especially young people, who are constantly going from one social media app to another. The constant commenting and “likes” makes young people feel important. So they’re always waiting for that phone to vibrate.
Almost 80 percent of people who own a cell phone have reported experiencing that moment when you think your cell phone is vibrating.
Now, phantom vibration syndrome is a very clinical-sounding term, but don’t be alarmed. You likely don’t have an actual medical condition just because you think you felt or heard a vibration that didn’t happen. Dr. Michael Rothberg writes about this issue, and he prefers to call phantom vibrations a “tactile hallucination” instead of a syndrome. The basic theory on why we feel these phantom vibrations is that we’re expecting a call or text, so we’re waiting for the vibration to occur. Then the cerebral cortex feels a stimulus such as a muscle contraction or clothing moving over skin and misinterprets that as the phone vibrating.
The phenomenon is much more common among college students, with research finding that nearly 9 out of 10 undergraduates have experienced a phantom vibration. Research also shows that being overly involved in one’s phone increases the occurrence of the phantom vibrations. The idea is that the more you’re waiting for the vibration the more likely you are to think you feel or hear one.