An experience that every owner of a mobile phone tried at least once in their lifetime is the ‘phantom vibration syndrome’. What is it exactly? Is a phenomenon and a symptom, studied and explained by researchers at Georgia Tech, of a growing dependence on men by mobile technology.
“Research has shown that more than 90% of people have experienced this hallucination” says Robert Rosenberger, assistant of Philosophy in the School of Public Policy, at Georgia Tech.
But why does it happen? Some think that technologies are in some way ‘reprogramming’ the brain. But I believe that the best way to explain our relationship with the telephone, and other technologies, is to be found in the process of learning and habits. For example think about wearing constantly glasses. With time, they become part of you and so you can forget to wear them sometime. The phone in your pocket is the same thing, through a habit established, it becomes part of you and you learn to associate the vibration alert of an incoming call or an incoming message.
“It is precisely because of this type of habit”, says Rosenberger, “that is very easy to misunderstand other similar feelings. The phone moved in the pocket? A call is coming. The pants rub each other? It’s a message. You have a spasm leg muscle? Again an incoming call. But often is just a ghost vibration”.
Yes, your brain is involved, but the brain is involved in everything. The explanation to the ‘ghost vibration’ is to be found, according to Rosenberger, in a “natural human obsession”, which leads such people, for example, to continually monitor the road to see if a friend is coming.