Monday, October 15, 2007

Phantom Vibrations

Yes, Virginia, we're living in the wireless age. Cell towers are sprouting up everywhere, and now we have a phenomenon called "phantom vibration syndrome." What the hell, what the heck?

A lot of the time at work, I wear a sports jacket or suit, and I tend to drop my mobile phone in an outside pocket. In preference to email or cell phone call, I rarely use my office line anymore, and got rid of my home land line years ago. I usually keep my phone in manner mode/vibration mode. From time to time I'll feel a vibration, take out the phone to check caller i.d. -- and see that no one, apparently, actually called. This, dear readers, is the epitome of phantom vibration syndrome.

Coming across an article recently made me really wonder what causes these strange vibrations. Land lines in the past sometimes pulsed or picked up a party line, so I figured my cell phone was picking up somebody else's signal, just for a moment. Maybe so. Ellen Smith's "Is That Your Phone or Your Imagination?" (AP) posits a psychological explanation. Her article is also floating around the internet under the title, "Phantom vibrations shake 'crackberry' addicts." It seems that BlackBerry users are so addicted to their devices, they feel vibrations out of anxiety or anticipation. To me, though, it seems physiological. I can feel the vibrations, and I don't think they're imaginary.

Today's Rune: Flow.

Birthdays: Virgil, Marie-Marguerite dYouville, Friedrich Nietzsche, P. G. Wodehouse, C.P. Snow, John Kenneth Galbraith, Arhtur Schlesinger, Jr., Mario Puzo, Italo Calvino, Michel Foucault, Karl Richter, Fela Kuti, Penny Marshall, Tito Jackson, Stacy Peralta, Vanessa Marcil, Dominic West, Yoon Son-ha.


JR's Thumbprints said...

An inmate was caught with a cell phone not too long ago; the dummy for got to turn the ringer off. Not so go vibrations when the corrections officers heard it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Go? Goo? No -- GOOD. As in Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys.

Erik Donald France said...

Interesting (and kind of funny) -- seems they're used as plot devices more and more, too, as in The Departed ans the new Bond flick.

Another twist -- people feel a pulse or vibration even when they don't have their phones on their person -- like an aftershock. Still tend to suspect it's physiological more than psychological.

Danny Tagalog said...

I'll check this out - you know, I have an irrational dislike of mobile phones, though use one everyday - it's good to see you talk some sense about the matter:)

Where's the girls?:)

Typical cellphone shop assistants in Tokyo:


the walking man said...

Joann and I just renewed a contract, we went a year before we did this so i was able to get Sprint/Nextel to not only double my minutes for free and other stuff they sent us two newer phones...I swear there is so much shit on a phone that I'm lucky just to make a call without getting electrocuted. 100000000000 symbols on the thing and all i wanted was the phone that i can dial and answer and the Nextel walkie talkie...I'm afraid of my phone..very afraid.



Charles Gramlich said...

Lol. That would explain why I don't get it. I do hear phantom ringing at times though, especially when loud music is playing.

Pythia3 said...

I have felt those phantom vibrations - but I chalked it up to my madness. I am slowly finding out that I am not really going crazy - the world is!
Happy Birthday Mario Puzo - I would have cooked up some pasta had I known.
Chow, Erik :)
I mean ciao - but the thought of gnocci or any pasta . . .