It has happened to me; how about you? You feel your cell phone vibrating—but when you check, it really isn’t. The good news is that you’re not going crazy. This phenomenon, called phantom cellphone vibration syndrome, is becoming more common. The bad news is you might have a tech addiction, according to Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University and author of a book on technology, iDisorder. He says lots of people are patting their pockets all day, feeling phantom vibrations that may be a sign of tech anxiety:
“Our body is always in waiting to anticipate any kind of technological interaction, which usually comes from a smartphone. With that anticipatory anxiety, if we get any neurological stimulation, our pants rubbing against our leg for example, you might interpret that through the veil of anxiety, as ‘Oh, my phone is vibrating.’”
In this increasingly connected world, the syndrome is fairly common. Here’s how to tell if imaginary cell phone vibrations is a cause for concern: Ask yourself if you feel anxious about being connected and whether that anxiety is interfering with anything else in your life. To counter the anxiety, Rosen suggests not carrying your device 24/7 and taking 10- to 15-minute tech breaks every couple of hours to reset your brain.
Good advice, whether you’ve got phantom cellphone vibration syndrome or not. Also, learn to live without push notifications and turn on only the actionable alerts to preserve your sanity and make you more productive.