Garfield Senior High School

Fauxcellarm: phantom vibrations

Cell phones: devices with the power to shape an entire generation of young people, so much that people born post 1995 have been dubbed the “iGeneration” because they have always existed in a world where smartphones existed.

And because of the omnipresence of smart devices in our day and age, it is not uncommon to see a teenager using their phone, be it on the bus, at school, or even while walking down the street. However, even though it’s deemed normal, the effects of prolonged cell phone usage are not.

Initially, cell phones’ primary function was to act as bridges of communication due to their features allowing users to text and call. These features are still present, but oftentimes, teens turn to social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger to chat with friends.

Due to the constant exchange of messages, teens are usually anticipating a notification buzz. This anticipation has culminated in the phantom vibration syndrome, a phenomenon in which one feels a vibration that is not actually there. In other words, your brain fools you into believing that your phone has vibrated, but when you check it, there is no notification.

Randi Smith, psychology professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver likens the syndrome to a hallucination and credits it to an obsession with cell phones. While the syndrome itself is not harmful, it is part of a much bigger picture, one that includes many, many smartphones