Do you ever have those moments where you could have sworn you felt your phone vibrating in your back pocket, but when you take it out to have a look, it was all in your imagination? There might be a few reasons why you keep dreaming up these vibrations, and none of them are good! With our over-reliance on technology these days, it's no surprise that more and more people are experiencing 'phantom text' syndrome.
Do You Have An Addiction?
Your phone is the gateway to all the information you could possibly want, including millions of apps, games, and services we use multiple times per day. It's not crazy to think that some of us have developed a literal addiction to our phones, based on how dependent we are on them. If you keep imagining texts and calls, it might be because you're addicted.
You Might Be Insecure
As humans, it's a primal instinct to want to belong to a group. We love the feeling of being missed or wanted by other people and we crave those kinds of messages in our modern-day lives. It's possible that insecurities and the desire to feel loved can trick your brain into fabricating texts or calls that never even existed.
Using Your Phone Too Much
Feeling phantom phone vibrations may be a sign that you're simply using your phone way too much. This condition is often seen in the teen demographic, who rely on their phones more than other groups tend to. If you've been feeling vibrations that don't exist, it might help to examine your phone usage and cut back if it's been getting too much.
It Can Even Happen When Your Phone Isn't With You
For most people who experience this phenomenon, their phone is in their pocket. However, a percentage of phone users have reported feeling a vibration when they don't even have their phone on them. It could be sitting over on a desk, but people swear they felt their phone vibrating. That's when you know your problems are getting serious!
It's More Common Amongst Smartphone Users
If you use a smartphone, chances are higher that you'll feel imaginary phone vibrations. Those using phones that aren't smartphones had much lower instances of the condition. Experts have speculated that this is probably because the smartphone user is typically much more dependent on their phone than someone using a more basic device. It makes sense to us!
Is It Dangerous?
Before you go running off to see your doctor, don't stress too much. There's really no terrible consequences to face if your brain is fabricating texts and calls. Though it might be worth considering if you're spending too much time on your device, so you can cut back. All those imaginary calls start to get annoying after a while!
It's Nice To Disconnect Sometimes
We all like to think of ourselves as people who wouldn't freak out without our phones. But those days when we accidentally leave the house without our favorite device do send us into a bit of a frenzy. It's actual separation anxiety, and as you can imagine, it's not entirely healthy to feel that way about a piece of technology.
More Common Than You'd Think
Don't worry, you're not the only one who swears they felt a vibration, only to discover it was nothing. Up to 90 percent of people have experienced this phenomenon while they had their smartphone in their pocket. A smaller percentage of about 60 percent have felt the same thing when their phone hasn't even been in their pocket.
What Causes It?
Doctors have weighed in on this modern-day issue and why it might be occurring. Dr. Robert Rosenburger of the Georgia Institute of Technology claims that "learned bodily habits" have led people to imagine phone vibrations. As we become more reliant on our technology, we start to develop anxiety from overuse, which manifests as texts and calls that don't actually exist.
Your Phone Becomes An Extra Body Part
Research from the Computers In Human Behavior Journal has revealed some interesting trends regarding how we see our phones. Using your phone too much can cause it to "become a part of you" according to the journal's research. People have reported being so attached to their phones that they feel like it has become an extra body part.
Just A Hallucination
Dr. Rosenburger's work on the topic also looks at what can trigger these phantom vibrations. Muscle spasms, shifting positions while sitting or standing, and even the movement of clothing are enough for people to conjure up the feeling that their phone vibrated. However, Dr. Rosenburger labels these as "hallucinations." We certainly know that phones can drive us crazy sometimes!
An Alternative Explanation
Sometimes, imagining that your phone is vibrating isn't simply about overuse or the need to be loved. When your phone logs on to the nearest reception tower, it sends out an RF pulse, which usually varies in strength. If you have your phone in your pocket at the time, the nerves in your legs may react to those pulses, causing the phantom vibration feelings.
Your Heart Can Feel It Too
If you're carrying your phone in your chest pocket, it's possible you may even experience heart palpitations when your phone sends out an RF pulse. This can be mild enough to be mistaken for a vibration, or it can feel like a pretty serious heart problem. People have reported palpitations to their doctors and realized later that it was just their phone.
We Just Love Being Connected
Whether it's a text, call, or social media update, people can't get enough of what's happening in the world of their phone. It can become an obsession, or even an addiction, which can lead people to imagine their phones are buzzing when they're not. A psychologist at the Metropolitan State University of Denver says people simply fear being out of touch.
Studies have shown that most young people can't even go one hour without looking at their phones, which proves that we're more than a little bit hooked on them. Sociologists have expressed concerns that with the rising levels of phone usage, we'll eventually be glued to them at all times, causing genuine human interaction to suffer in the process.
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