‘Hold on a sec,’ you’ve said to your friend, countless times. ‘My phone just buzzed. It might be something important.’
You’ve reached down to your pocket, pulled out your phone – and lo and behold, you just made it up. There were no vibrations. But you promise you felt something, honest.
Well, you’re not alone – because 90% of us are thought to experience what is now being called 'Phantom Vibration Syndrome'.
The sensation is commonly felt when we are certain we’ve felt our phones buzzing in our pockets – but it’s actually all in our minds.
Dr Robert Rosenberger, philosopher and assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, says the feeling is a ‘hallucation’ caused by anxiety – but says it is increasingly common.
He believes it is down to ‘learned bodily habits’, and told the BBC that there are ‘a couple of ways of explaining it’.
‘Some people have suggested that technology like telephones are changing our brains, creating a special cognitive pathway designed to feel these vibrations as a phone call,’ he said.
‘Another theory is that we're all so anxious because of all our different technologies: our email, our text messages, just have us on edge, so we'll be more inclined to feel something in our pocket such as phantom vibration.
‘We've become so accustomed to the technology that we're even experiencing our own bodies in these weird new ways.
‘Is it a sixth sense? I wouldn't describe it as that exactly, but I would say it's one of those big game-changing experiences like glasses or like driving a car that really changes your relationship to the world.’
Well, if we ever needed another excuse to adopt a technology detox, this is it. Hallucinations and anxiety caused by our mobile phones are not cool – so we’ll be turning it off for at least three hours a day. Or at least turning it off vibrate.
That counts, right?
Do you experience Phantom Vibration Syndrome? Let us know @marieclaireuk
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