October 1, 2013
Phantom Phone Vibrations: So Common They've Changed Our Brains?
Phantom vibration — that phenomenon where you think your phone is vibrating but it's not — has been around only since the mobile age. And five years ago, when its wider existence became recognized, news organizations, including ours, covered the "syndrome" as a sign of the digital encroachment in our lives. Today, it's so common that researchers have devoted studies to it. NPR reports.
Research shows phantom vibration syndrome, or its other nicknames — like hypovibochondria or ring-xiety — are a near-universal experience for people with smartphones.
Nearly 90 percent of college undergrads in a 2012 study said they felt phantom vibrations. The number was just as high for a survey of hospital workers, who reported feeling phantom vibrations on either a weekly or monthly basis.
"Something in your brain is being triggered that's different than what was triggered just a few short years ago," says Dr. Larry Rosen, a research psychologist who studies how technology affects our minds.
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