The Phantom Vibration: 90% of People Mistakenly Think Their Phone is Vibrating

One day, when all applicable research is compiled, it could very well turn out that smartphones are more detrimental to our health and happiness than smoking, cancer, and car accidents combined.

The latest findings on technology wreaking havoc on the human mind and body come from Georgia Institute of Technology, which has identified widespread “phantom vibration syndrome” among mobile phone users.

It is believed that up to 90 per cent of people are affected.

Very little is required to provoke PVS – it could result from a simple movement in clothing against our body or a muscle spasm – though its ramifications are deep. We all know how miserable it is to reach for our phone under the false pretence that someone has communicated with us. The long-term severity of these deceptions is still unknown.

Dr Robert Rosenberger, a philosopher and assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, attributes the syndrome to “learned body habits” and blamed technology in general for making us so damn anxious all the time. The clinical term he used to describe this new generation of PVS victims is “on edge.”

“We are more inclined to be jumpy and feel something in our pocket as a phantom vibration,” he says.

PVS is widely considered the natural evolution of “phantom-pager syndrome,” which was first idenfitied in a Dilbert comic strip.