LIFE Published January15, 2016 By Czarelli Tuason

Could You Be Suffering From Phantom Vibration Syndrome?

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Hands holding a mobile phone
(Photo : By: Georgijevic | Getty Images)

Thanks to the rapidly-evolving technology of the modern day era, an expert is increasing awareness on a new phenomenon, known as the Phantom Vibration Syndrome, which is affecting most people in today's society.

According to a recent article by Web MD, the Phantom Vibration Syndrome is where people mistake their mobile devices as ringing or vibrating when they actually are not, worried they might miss a call or text that they have become extra sensitive of the sensation.

Assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology Robert Rosenberger, Ph.D., analyzes the effects of technology on the human behavior and learned that sensing a vibrating phone has become a habit among most people, that even the slightest clothing movement or muscle twitch could be easily mistaken as a vibrating phone.

In his study, Rosenberger worked with 290 college students as his subjects and found that nearly 90 percent of them experience phantom vibration syndrome every once in a while, with 40 percent claiming it happens at least once a week, noted CBS News on Tuesday.

"Because we're so in touch with our cellphones now," suggested one participant. "We're cyborgs, practically. They're parts of us."

"The remarkable prevalence of phantom vibration syndrome appears to reveal something about our contemporary technological situation," noted Rosenberger in a recent analysis published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Brain chemistry, habits and anxiety are among the few factors identified by Rosenberger that contributes to the phenomenon, but acknowledges that further study is imperial to fully comprehend what really goes on when people feel these sensations.

"It's almost like a hallucination," explained Randi Smith, Ph.D., a licensed clinical social worker and associate professor of psychology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. "There's a fear that we're going to miss a text, somebody is trying to reach us and we're not being responsive."

"I think it's a little scary how dependent most of us have become on our devices," she added.

The study recognizes that phantom vibration syndrome is not at all harmful to people, but many take it as a warning sign that humans may be engaging in technology too much that it may keep them from actually interacting with other people.

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