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The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.

Phantom Vibration Syndrome: What Makes You Think Phone Rings In Your Pocket When It Doesn’t

About 70% Of people experience “phantom vibration syndrome"


Adeyemi Abdulkareem


Did you know there’s a possibility you might have the ‘Phantom Vibration Syndrome?’

A recent research has found out that about 70% of the human population experience “Phantom Vibration Syndrome” where you mistakenly think your phone is buzzing in your pocket.

Phantom Vibration Syndrome (PVS) refers to the false perception that one’s mobile phone or other technological device is vibrating when it is not.

This syndrome is most often associated with the excessive use of mobile phones. It has been labeled as a strong hallucination of false vibration perceived by the brain.

Research has shown that no specific amount of people have been recognized to have greater occurrence of PVS. However, anyone who owns a mobile phone or other technological vibrating device could hypothetically contract PVS, with overuse carrying greater risk.

Dermnet explained that the etiology of PVS is unknown and requires further investigation. It has been hypothesized as a misinterpretation by the cerebral cortex due to the large number of sensory stimuli continuously received by the brain. As the user anticipates a vibratory notification, stimuli such as muscle contractions are possibly misconstrued as a vibration sensation.

Some of the devices that causes PVS are; a smartphone with a vibration notification function and a video game controller with a vibration function. Also, some of the medical features of PVS are anxiety, over-vigilance, psychological stress and emotional disturbance. Moreover, one of its complications is; worsening mental health. PVS can however be diagnosed by a thorough medical interpretation.

Further, if an individual shows signs of contracting PVS, the mode of treatments are simply: reducing time spent on mobile phone, carrying the device in a different pocket and/or switching the vibration capability off.

Ultimately, as strange as it may seem, it is really real. Hundreds and thousands of people today are actually blindly battling with PVS which could eventually be detrimental to their mental health and social awareness. If you are already having these symptoms, please follow the mode of treatments mentioned above to avert these syndrome before eating into your social and mental activities.

Knowledge is power and what you don’t know can actually harm you. As beneficial as the mobile devices and other technological services are, some could just be as detrimental to one’s sanity and health. It is therefore advisable to know how well to use these devices to protect oneself from its hazards. Always looking out for the marginalized.


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