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Beware of Phantom Vibration Syndrome, It Could Kill You

November 13, 2007

This article warns us of the latest possible medical condition that could end life as we know it. Okay that might be going overboard, but what is the next big trauma that we will have to deal with? It’s technical term is Phantom Vibration Syndrome, more commonly called ringxiety. This is when you feel your phone vibrate in your pocket but you either don’t have your cell phone turned on or you not not even have your cell phone. I am not making this shit up. This article appeared above the fold on page one of today’s New Hampshire Union Leader. This is unbelievable, people feel their phones vibrate when they are not on and now we have a name for it. Just check out some excerpts from the article:

“I go to reach for my cell phone and it isn’t there,” said Ben Hastie, 18, of Merrimack, who has a Motorola Razor phone. “It happens all the time.”

Josh Weaver, 22, who works in Merrimack, has done the same thing.

“My cell phone wasn’t even on,” he said.

“I don’t know what it is,” said Andrea Robichaud, 23, a web designer in Merrimack who has checked her cellphone for incoming calls after experiencing a phantom vibration. “I just know that no one was calling.”

 The horror. This sounds kind of like when you have been wearing a hat all day and then you take it off and it still feels as though you have it on so you try to adjust it. I will dub that problem removed hat discomfort syndrome. Really, who sits around and thinks this stuff up?

 But it gets better/worse depending on your thinking, as a psychiatrist checks in:

Peter Tse, professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College, said phantom vibration rings may happen because cell phone users develop a “template” in their heads.

“I have a template for my baby’s cry in my head, for example, and sometimes just by chance a random set of sounds will match it,” he said. “I will go to check, but the baby wasn’t crying. “

He said the brain is constantly filtering out background information. Tse said sometimes when a person is monitoring or searching for something important to them — such as a cell phone call or the sound of their own name — some of this background information is picked up and matched to a mental template.

It’s called the cocktail party effect.

“When everyone’s talking at a cocktail party, if your name or anything close to your name comes up in the room, you easily pick up on that,” Tse said.

But false vibrations are less easily understood. Some neurologists compare it to the nerve sensations felt by amputees in the place of the missing limb.

 It seems we are constantly being bombarded with trumped up dilemmas and disasters that we always have to be on guard of. This is just the latest syndrome in a constant barrage of potential disaster we are forced to listen to every day. Don’t you find it funny that many of these issues are political issues or are used for political reasons?

 Here are some of the other issues we are supposed to live in fear of. The bird flu, the worse hurricane season predictions every year, trans fats, restless leg syndrome, global warming, global cooling, ADD, AADD. It seems there is a name for everything nowadays.

 It’s hard to include Phantom Vibration Syndrome in the Nanny State world we are living in, this is just stupid, or is this the Nanny State gone awry?. Although when I think about it, reading an article like this makes me realize how absurd the world is becoming. When you have to have a name for thinking your phone is vibrating when it’s not, perhaps we have moved beyond the Nanny State. We have reached the point of having lost all of our common sense, maybe we didn’t lose it. Perhaps it has been taken away by the media and their constant reminders, we no longer have to think for ourselves. When the weather gets cold, the media tells us to bundle up, on the Fourth of July the media runs PSA’s telling us not to hold lighted fireworks, when the weather gets hot the media tell us to drink water. Hell, on the news tonight I was told if I wanted to save money I should leave my credit card at home so that I won’t succumb to impulse buying. 

 Anyway, I kind of drifted there, we now have a new syndrome and before you know it we will have a new drug. Perhaps it will be called Vibristop or something like that.

 So what does Verizon have to say about this (yes, the article did talk to Verizon)?

 David Thomson, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless, said phones should not vibrate unless there’s a call coming in.

“There is no reason why it should,” he said.

 Thank God he cleared that up for me.

 What else can I say? Does anyone else feel this is absurd?

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111 Comments leave one →
  1. dalia permalink
    November 16, 2007 7:59 am

    intoxication related to the cell phone; the mucle is very sensitive; the muscle is vibrating; this is not syndrome; an intoxication

    Like

  2. November 28, 2007 11:41 pm

    Oh, the drug is just around the corner.

    Verizon’s response is priceless!

    Like

  3. Kyleen permalink
    February 1, 2008 10:36 am

    I am an actual person who feels these “vibrations” and I think this is the STUPIDEST thing I have ever heard. I don’t even carry my phone in my pocket. People are idiots! And to Dave, yes…I see a drug coming from this soon, as well.

    http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/archive/index.php/t-8021.html

    ALL these people have the same concern. I CANNOT respect ANYONE who believes this rubbish. I give more credit to the person who cracked that it was “the mothership” calling all it’s victims, than some stupid “cell phone ringing theory”.

    It’s JUST a nervous twitch. It comes from sitting on your duff all day and maybe a little bit of stress. I want to punch the person who came up with such a ridiculous theory!

    Like

    • Robert permalink
      November 9, 2009 4:31 pm

      What are you?? a doctor this is not just a joke its a real study and you pretend to know everything yeah and a nervous twitch that only appears at the place were your mobile normally is..
      whatever unbelivable that there are people really that stupid!!!

      Like

      • November 9, 2009 11:24 pm

        Yeah, and the global warming studies are real too, right? Don’t believe everything that you read.

        Like

    • dbeam permalink
      April 17, 2010 11:53 am

      My, my aren’t you hostile. I am glad that you have not had the experience of phantom vibration, but must you be so agitated that it does happen to others. What have you got to gain by being so negative. Maybe you need drugs to calm you.

      Like

      • April 17, 2010 4:10 pm

        Maybe it is the drugs that have me on edge!

        Like

    • kelly permalink
      February 28, 2011 5:27 pm

      well, my vibrations started last night. they have been constant all day long, oh, btw, i stand in surgery ALL day long so my feelings of vibration are def not from sitting on my butt all day……just sayin!

      Like

      • angie permalink
        October 30, 2011 12:33 pm

        my vibrations started a week ago ..they have been constant with same repetion as my phone vibration..my viration is on the inside of my left foot .it really freaked me out the first night i thought i might have ciculation depletion .this sensation is very real .

        Like

    • Ivy permalink
      January 17, 2013 6:20 pm

      I too feel these ‘vibrations’! They drive me absolutely crazy, I feel them whether I have my phone on me or not and they can lat ALL DAY (like today). Feeling crazy I went straight home after work to google “I feel vibrations in my body” and this was the first article I found. I don’t know what to believe but this IS real! As I am still feeling the vibrations as I type….

      Like

      • January 18, 2013 6:22 am

        …remove the vibration setting from your phone or at the least move it to another part of your body (so it can begin the same phenomenon there)…your choice…but it’s most often related to what i consider nerve reverberation…mine stopped within a day after i turned off the vibration setting on my phone…haven’t had it since…it’s not the end of the world, just the end of a pattern with which your body is responding to…

        Like

  4. Donna McKin permalink
    December 5, 2008 12:17 pm

    I am so glad I read this article. I called my doctor yesterday and set up an appointment for Monday, the 8th of December, because this vibration in my leg was worrying me. I could not figure why I was vibrating. I thought something was really wrong. Now I will have something to share with my doctor. I had never heard of such a thing as Phantom Vibration Syndrome, and being caused by my cell phone. And yes I would check my phone to see if anyone had called. And you are right, no calls. But lately I have not had my cell phone on me, I have been leaving it in my purse at work or on the table, yet I still vibrate and touch my pocket to see if my phone was in it. Thank-you, I feel much better now. The only thing is now I have to figure out how to stop vibrating. Do you think I could think it away? Signed Vibrated.

    Like

    • December 29, 2010 4:27 am

      Omg my birthday is December 8th! :D
      But, yeah, I’ve had that happen to me too.
      Like, I feel a little vibration, but nobody texted me.
      This has only happened once or twice though.

      Like

    • Norma permalink
      March 14, 2013 10:43 pm

      I have the same sensation, mine is on my right front side, in the bend of my leg on the inside close to my pelvic around, almost where my cell phone would be if I were sitting down..however, this doesn’t hold any validity because I carry my cell phone in my back left pocket, so the cell phone thing doesn’t make any sense to me. Another thing I haven’t carried my phone in several months due to my job doesn’t allow cell phones at work…so can anyone give me another logical explination as to why this happens every day at approximately 40 to 50 times?

      Like

  5. Jason permalink
    February 15, 2009 2:10 pm

    I’m a premed student and have pretty good explanation of what’s happeneing here.

    First off in everyone’s body are touch receptors, The thing with our bodies is that as we become accustomed to certain stimuli we have responses to them. this is how muscle memory works, the amount of energy required to activate nerve cells becomes lower as you use them more frequently.

    at a certain point however as you get more accustomed to it, the “vibration sensation” can be set off by something as small as your pants brushing against your thigh. it is not some psych issue, it is medical. it is a learned response.

    if you wish to avoid getting Phantom Vibration Syndrome, all you have to do is prevent your body from being conditioned to the vibrations. To do this simply change the pocket that you keep your phone in! i recommend every month change which pocket you keep your phone in. this will prevent the conditioned response.

    but. DO NOT ALTERNATE EVERY DAY, this will condition both at the same time, you must do it in long enough time to “uncondition” your leg but short enough to prevent getting the sensations in the first place

    Like

    • Susan permalink
      January 15, 2012 10:54 am

      I believe this is true, because I have had this going on for several months now and did suspect carrying my cell in my pocket. I switched sides, but because not all my scrubs have a pocket on both sides sometimes I’d carry my phone in my back pocket. Now, I mostly have the vibrations in my right leg,daily, where I carry my cell most, more infrequently in my left, where I carry it least and it has started in my low back (back pocket). I have other musculoskeletal issues and nerve pain and wondered if it was related, but I would tend to believe this cell phone stimulation theory….Sue

      Like

    • Darren permalink
      June 27, 2012 8:24 am

      Hi Jason.

      I am a neuroscientist and I think I agree with your idea. More specifically, I think it is due to long term potentiation in the sensory motor cortex. Changing the side may or may not help. I would suggest just taking your phone off vibrate if you are experiencing any phantom vibrations. It could get worse over a course of years and possible become a form of chronic pain. Mobile phones have only been around 10 years so these kinds of effects might only just be starting to emerge.

      Darren

      Like

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 28, 2012 10:55 am

      That seems like a good theory but I have never carried my phone in my pocket or set it to vibrate and I still have the vibrations in my pocket area.

      Like

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 28, 2012 3:14 pm

      Hello Jason,

      I am a medical student. There have been some confusion in people experiencing this in conveying their experience with this Phantom Vibration. I too have these experiences. Me and many others use the “phone vibrating” to describe the type of sensation we feel as it is hard to describe if you have not had it. While sometimes people think it is their phone vibrating it is independent of it. It is a vibration in our inner leg that happens to feel as a cell phone is vibrating there. People who dont use cell phones, who dont or ever used vibrate experience this feeling. It is independent of the use of the vibration function on a phone. It is a very real sensation, and is very strange and confusing.

      Like

  6. April 20, 2009 6:39 pm

    50 y/o wm experiencing same vibratory symptoms only in my left leg, days or nights at “its” whim. No pain, and unable to insonnate any movement or spasm in extremity when I feel the vibration !! Going on over a year now. I went to a massage therapist and she said it was blocked energy,…she was able to “stop” symptoms if I went back weekly! It might be worth a try to have others do the same through there massage therapist ! Good Luck….

    Like

  7. rob permalink
    June 9, 2009 7:16 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with making up a catchy name for a current gossip item so when people are referring to it they don’t need to describe it in detail every single time.

    But, “Phantom Vibration Syndrome?” I agree, that name sucks. And it’s a mildly amusing non-issue. I blame bored, useless communications interns desperate for something to research so they can get some air time.

    On the same argument I don’t see the political connection you’re trying to make. Maybe you too are another bored communication intern, trying to make something out of nothing?

    Like

    • June 12, 2009 2:10 pm

      If you read my “about me” page you will see what I do for a living and no I am not “another bored communication intern.”

      Like

    • Joe Black permalink
      June 17, 2010 2:02 pm

      Nah, he’s not a bored intern, he just really buys the right-vs-left battle.

      Like

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 7, 2012 8:46 pm

        Because left is stupid. You’re all stupid. You’re on a Jahova’s Witness website and you’re taking this stuff seriously? Idiots; all of you…

        Like

  8. Chelsea permalink
    June 13, 2009 7:56 am

    i have this condition

    Like

  9. sethV permalink
    June 13, 2009 12:03 pm

    All of my friends and I get “phantom vibrations” constantly. This shit is real.

    Like

  10. sethV permalink
    June 13, 2009 12:04 pm

    All of my friends and I are constantly getting “phantom vibrations”, or ghost texts, all of the time. This shit is real!

    Like

  11. July 15, 2009 1:40 am

    it is real. it happens more for texters than it does for people who actually call people.
    it happened to me twice. that is because i dont really use my phone. but it happens to my brother all the time

    Like

  12. Sevenizm permalink
    August 6, 2009 8:42 am

    This is a real condition. Therefore the name. If u have never experience the symptoms it may sound silly. When I was younger I thought “Pink Eye” was stupid and caused by make up. I didn’t have a clue. As I am typing this my leg is vibrating. (That’s why I’m researching any info on it and came across this.) It is arrogant to dismiss anything you have not experienced. I have delt with this for years. It has changed my phone habits. I don’t check every vibration. Because of that I miss calls when I really shouldn’t.

    I wonder what long term effects of this could be. Can the area effected become tougher like calouses (typo) in the palms of your hands and feet. Will human brain develope some new counter measure. Some peoples left ear noticbly tougher when that’s there phone ear. (Telemarketers) Its natural. People who shoot a lot have a tougher trigger finger compared to the rest of the hand.

    I have accepted this contition as a fault of modern man. I want to know what’s the future of this. 10, 15 years out from now. Will this vibration cause extra nerves to grow in the area of my pocket where I keep my phone. (That’s what I thought was happening) Will I eventually become numb to the vibration and not feet it at all? How will the body fix this, or compensate for this? Will this turn to cancer?

    Like I said I’ve had this for years. From the first Tmoble SideKick (the black and white screen) I join a bunch of alerts: horiscopes, weather, news, jokes… my phone vibrated all the time. Then when I didn’t have my phone on me I was feeling the vibrations.

    Thanx 4 ur time.
    7

    Like

    • Joe Smith permalink
      September 5, 2010 10:37 pm

      No, pink eye is not caused by make up. It’s cause by fecal material that gets in your eye. A common problem for people with —- for brains.

      Like

      • September 6, 2010 8:54 pm

        I’m just really…..high!

        Like

  13. Cyndi permalink
    September 1, 2009 7:55 pm

    Thank God I’m not losing my mind. Here I am googling this sympton of vibrations in hip area….. I’m going to try changing my phone to the my opposite hip and see if this goes away. It is definitely happening to me.

    Like

    • Angel permalink
      January 10, 2012 10:10 pm

      Whoa. Don’t act too fast, Cyndi. I am also here reading this thread because my leg started vibrating on my way to work this morning and is STILL vibrating right now! I couldn’t wait to get home and “Google” it! The sensation can definitely be described as a cell phone ringing, in my buttock. Oh, but it gets better! I keep my cell phone in my RIGHT pocket, and it is clearly only my LEFT leg that is vibrating. Hmmm. Interesting… The vibration is in my buttock and travels down the leg. I am over 40 and I have never had this “syndrome”. Is it caused by a cell phone? I don’t know. I was googling it because I was afraid it was a symptom of a “nearly clogged” artery or something. I’d love to be part of a case study if they want to hook up some electrodes to actually monitor the sensation.

      Like

      • Erica permalink
        February 2, 2012 11:33 am

        Google sciatica.

        Like

  14. September 1, 2009 8:00 pm

    Yeah, Since yesterday I have been looking for a hard drive which I accidently left plugged in on the floor, and reaching inside of covers to find my palm phone to find that it is my left leg which is acutally vibrating. Its been ongoing since yesterday. and gotten more frequent, my knee down to my foot. I dont know if my foot is ringin or my phone. wow weird.

    Like

  15. September 1, 2009 8:02 pm

    I do keep my phone in my back left pocket alot

    Like

  16. kerry permalink
    September 4, 2009 2:52 pm

    well…Im a baker and i often keep my cellphone in the left breast pocket of my chefs coat. Within the last couple months my left breast has had that vibrating sensation, its making me crazy. Not only that but could it cause me to develop breast cancer? Im a little nervous.

    Like

    • Joe Black permalink
      June 17, 2010 2:05 pm

      No.

      Like

  17. Jhammin permalink
    October 13, 2009 7:39 pm

    I agree with Sevenizm, the information you gave was good, but the last paragraph really wasn’t necessary. I don’t see a correlation. I was unable to read the article your referenced, which may have been a bit “out there”. I feel my phone vibrating when it isn’t even in my pocket. I consider myself a pretty sane person and have never experianced anything like this. It is kind of a curious subject i think it is perfectly fine for it to be called a syndrome. Alot of people have the strange vibrating sensation, its alright for researchers to give it a name. “Syndrome” doesn’t mean it is life threatening.

    Like

  18. Ted permalink
    December 16, 2009 5:10 am

    I think people have a lot more to worry about then a vibrating appendage; like cancer, AIDS, high cholesterol, getting hit by a bus, breathing, getting hit by a plane, whether or not Santa is real, whether or not the talking M&M’s are real, what you want to do with your life, what your going to have for diner, what your neighbor is going to have for diner, and pretty much everything else in the world there is to worry about and not worry about. How inconvenient is it honestly to feel the vibration? I’ve had it happen to me and it only lasts not even 2 seconds. I think you can deal with it, and I’m pretty sure you’ll survive. I’d be more concerned with the anxiety about worrying about why my leg was vibrating then the actual feeling. It doesn’t even hurt. Get the sand out of your viginas and deal.

    Like

    • Joe Black permalink
      June 17, 2010 2:53 pm

      Of course people have a lot more to worry about than a vibrating appendage, and are cognizant of that. Don’t be a fool. People have a lot more to worry about than what kind of food they’d like today. They could all eat rations. ..and people need not worry about athlete’s foot. ..or vitamins that they could survive without. ..or have cars, when there’s public transportation.

      ..but get a clue.

      It’s just something that is a pain in the ass and people want to address it somehow. ..but to assume it doesn’t exist, or that people don’t have magnitudes of symptoms greater than yours is just as idiotic as freaking out about it.

      On blowing this off — don’t be a douchebag.
      On freaking out about it — People can change the pocket they keep their phones in, or in extreme cases, get an open-air bluetooth earphone, and a phone that will ring to it.

      I have a lot of networking experience. I can make you (or the author of this blog) a proxy that changes the word “Syndrome” to “Thing” and “Symptom” to “Effect” if y’all are uncomfortable with.. ..you know.. ..terminology.

      From the Article:
      “People are experiencing something we call the Phantom Vibration Thing. Effects include feeling vibration when it is not present, or mistaking other sensations for vibration, and pointless terror that this means that one is slowly, slowly slipping off the deep end. It may cause people to cause hype, or to hype the hype that the people who caused hype caused.”

      ..yeah.

      Like

      • Angel permalink
        January 10, 2012 10:12 pm

        Well said, Mr. Black! :)

        Like

    • June 24, 2011 1:02 pm

      This is simply a scientific study on what the condition is. No one is causing hype about it. No one is complaining. It happens to me. For some reason people feel that it is a problem when scientists give more intelligent names to common feelings or disorders. Yes, I agree fully that these are just fancy technical terms for normal things. Science studies how things work. If everyone just used common terms for everything then science would not be as far as it is. Science is no different then you trying to solve a problem (ex. what to eat today). In brief the people who studied this had become curious. Then, they released their findings so they could educate others. The fact that people become angry with this is stupid.

      Like

      • Just Isaac permalink
        July 10, 2011 6:59 pm

        +1

        Like

  19. December 22, 2009 3:48 pm

    I love the response from the Verizon spokesman! But in all seriousness, this is definitely believable. I get similar feelings in my hands after I’ve been mowing the lawn for a while. Once I turn the lawn mower off, I still feel the vibration in my hands for a little while afterward.

    Like

  20. meredith permalink
    December 29, 2009 8:58 pm

    This has been happening to me for quite awhile but I didn’t discuss it with anyone because I thought it was me losing my mind. I am relieved to know that there are others having the same experience. Won’t take drugs for it, though….I can live with it…

    Like

  21. locdoggib permalink
    March 16, 2010 3:34 pm

    I have had these phantom vibrations for years…got my first pager in 1992, kept it on vibrate…carried it in the same pocket(right side) for about 2 years….I started getting the vibrations prior to carrying my cellphone in my pocket……initially I thought it had something to do with the analog/digital signals sent to my previous device…..made me think I was intercepting messages intended for that device that someone else may be using at this point in time…..yeah……I know…Im crazy………..but….obvously……Im not the only one……..or wait….maybe im normal………anyway……when do i get my perscriptionfor medical marijuana…… for my restless pocket syndrome?

    Like

  22. thisisefed permalink
    March 24, 2010 2:26 am

    Its 2:30 in the morning and I read this entire artical (or whatever this is) on my phone, not because I “thought” or “felt” my phone vibrate.. It did, I heard it, and it even lit up, right in front of me… But you know what, I didn’t get a text. Or tweet. (And it just vibrated again… I really hope I got something that time.) anyways.. I want to know what in gods name caused my cell phone to vibrate.. I have experienced the phantom vibration before, many times. But this, yeah, this takes the cake. Weird.

    Like

  23. shawn permalink
    April 8, 2010 1:03 am

    This is some crazy shit! Just the other day I was moving some stuff and I swore I felt my phone vibrate but I just thought that I was going nuts… but I was fine with it! I didn’t try to go seek medical treatment… are you seriously telling me people are wasting there time and effort on studying this shit? spend a little time on cancer now! It seems like every girl I date these days has fuckin cancer or has had!

    Like

  24. David Gilmour permalink
    April 8, 2010 1:19 am

    lol! craig ferguson has this!

    Like

  25. April 8, 2010 1:49 am

    Yeah I just heard him say it. Thats what made me look the syndrom up. My daughter just said she gets this too. Too many people addicted to the cell phones is what I think. Throw the darn things out the window.

    Like

  26. Stacey permalink
    April 8, 2010 3:17 pm

    I haven’t had this happen to me; however, I use TweetDeck, and sometimes I find myself “hearing” the tweet/ringing sound while away from my computer, and my speakers are not even on.

    Like

  27. Thom permalink
    May 22, 2010 10:19 am

    Decent article and whatnot, though I have a very hard time taking someone’s blog seriously when they fail to proofread.

    Comma splices will kill you far sooner than Phantom Vibrating Cellphone Syndrome.

    Also, it’s “weather” not “whether”. Please beat yourself unconscious with a dictionary.

    Like

    • May 22, 2010 8:38 pm

      You are 100% correct on my spelling of “weather” and I have corrected it. Thanks for the heads up. It is not often I write about “weather” but I do use the word “whether” on a regular basis, I must have just been carried away by habit and the heat of the moment. I did not properly proof read this post, as you stated, and for that I offer my deepest apology. I will try to learn from this mistake and improve in the future.
      Thanks again, and I hope to see you around more in the future. I would also like to apologize to you if I have used to many commas in this reply, it was not my intent to splice together multiple thoughts in one sentence, when it would have been more proper to use separate sentences.

      Like

  28. Tdawg permalink
    June 8, 2010 3:16 am

    I’ve had a cell phone for 8 years now and this just started happening to me a couple weeks ago. The only thing I can attribute to causing this is frequent text communication that resumed between me and my ex girlfriend a few weeks ago. I accidently cheated on her 6 months ago had not texted much since then. But recently we reaquainted textually, unfortunately not sexually yet. Anyways I think this is a mentle thing because I do believe she is teasing me as a form of punishment. Low and behold her 10 blue ball texts a day give me about 20 phantom text vibrations in my left leg each day even when I don’t have my phone on me. Not going to lie I realy want to bang this chick again, but my FVS has to stop. So I think I will have to ex the ex. I will let you guys know if the phantom vibrating stops.

    Like

  29. Kayla Harper permalink
    June 23, 2010 3:23 am

    I think you guys are taking this too medically. I don’t believe Phantom Vibration Syndrome is an actual Medical Condition.

    Phantom Vibration is more of a Phenomena than a Syndrome.

    And it does happen. I mistakenly thought that my phone was vibrating in my pocket, when it actually was not even in my pocket at all. I thought maybe I had a problem with my leg, until my friend let me know that this phenomena was so common that they actually had a cool term for it, Phantom Ring!!!

    It just because we are so used to responding to our phones, that the anticipation can misperceive other sounds or vibration as a call coming in.

    Kinda like how you think your name is being called when it is not.

    Like

  30. SmillWith permalink
    July 5, 2010 12:26 am

    Okay. i think i lost my phone. I can feel it vibrating around my left thigh but its not there. Maybe its in my thigh?

    Like

  31. victor permalink
    July 8, 2010 6:55 pm

    I use to work at a grocery store and always put my phone in my pocket. It would feel like my phone was vibrating in my pocket at least 4 or 5 times during my 8 hour shift. Its a weird feeling when you don’t get a call all day.

    Like

  32. Tony F. permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:14 pm

    Liberty truly died in this once great country in 1980, when an actor was elected. He played the greatest roll in American cinema for centuries to come. He started a “War on Drugs”, arresting large amounts of lower-class citizens, regardless of the color of skin. He was a pawn of the banks, and caused most problems we’re seeing surface in todays economy.
    He played the roll of fucking up our country, beyond repair.
    God Bless America, but she stole the B from bless.

    Like

    • Tony F. permalink
      August 26, 2010 2:15 pm

      N yeah. I know I said “roll”, not “Role”. Fuck you. Humans make mistakes.

      Like

      • August 26, 2010 8:57 pm

        Why are you swearing at me?

        Like

  33. Anon permalink
    September 7, 2010 1:25 pm

    That didn’t really explain anything, other than the fact that the media try to scare us all the time.
    How ridiculous, it’s time to regain our power to think for ourselves.

    Like

  34. Amy permalink
    October 19, 2010 12:44 pm

    This happens to me, but I really think it might be medical for me. There are medical reasons for this. Bony crepitation is a palpable vibration or an audible crunching sound that results when one bone grates against another. …this can be caused by osteoarthritis, injury etc…. I found your article because the vibration started out as 2-3 seconds every once in a while but now it’s constant, and it’s not easy to ignore now. I have noticed that when I move, it’s magnified. I really don’t think this is caused from my cell phone even though I have mistaken it for my phone many times. Someone mentioned changing your phone from one side to another. I say, take your phone off vibrate and sooner or later, if the vibrations are really linked to your cell phone, they will end. If they continue, it’s medical and you should see a doctor. I plan on seeing my doctor.

    Like

  35. tom permalink
    October 22, 2010 7:16 pm

    I get this vibration in my left leg but only since I ve been using wirless on my laptop?? my cel phone is hardly ever really ringing but I feel it vibrating against my left leg…so weird???

    Like

  36. October 27, 2010 12:25 pm

    Interesting. Have been trying to learn a new language for a while now so this is extremely relevant! Thank you.

    Like

  37. Joe permalink
    November 10, 2010 6:30 pm

    I just started experiencing this sensation last night in my left leg upper pelvis. I do not carry my cell phone in either pocket and even when I use to it was never on vibrate. This sensation is being report A LOT and I think they are way of base with their conclusion. The reason it was related to cell phone in the first place is because its the only way people experiencing this can describe the vibration they are feeling. Yes “it feels like a cell phone is vibrating in my crouch” but I know one isnt there and hasnt been there in years on vibrate.
    So come up with a real explanation

    Like

    • Norma permalink
      March 14, 2013 11:05 pm

      I don’t believe the cell phone thing either Joe because I don’t carry my cell phone in my pocket and I have the sensations many times over the course of the day everyday, in fact they are becoming more frequent.
      I’m with you on needing another valid explanation….I also think people are relating it to their cell phone because that is exactly what it feels like…but there is no relation between my phone and the vibrating sensations I get and mine is in the same exact spot as yours. I had to look this up because mine are becoming so frequent that I was becoming concerned.

      Like

  38. May 31, 2011 12:38 am

    Sorry to break it to you – this is not a matter of “nanny-state” effects. I had these symptoms before any of the issues you mentioned were even a concern. Very likely it is more of a matter of growing narcissism – something so prevalent in American society that psychologists no longer consider it a disorder (a reclassification I strongly oppose).

    It’s really nothing new – you think someone’s trying to contact you when they’re not. It’s the same as when you think the phone is wringing when it’s not and can probably be linked to compulsive-e-mail checking.

    Like

  39. June 22, 2011 6:31 am

    I have the feeling that my phone is vibrating all the time but to consider it a medical issue is absolutely ridiculous. This isnt the only one either….. There’s the epic, P.O.I.S. that’s Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome as well as absurd medical practices such as “transpoosion”. Go ahead look them up . Its past the point of insanity anymore

    Like

  40. Malcolm Holmes permalink
    July 30, 2011 2:34 am

    Honestly, this happens to me all the time. I just never knew the name of the syndrome until I seen it on television. But I don’t think its life threatening though.

    Like

  41. Belle permalink
    August 2, 2011 6:24 pm

    I have been experiencing Vibration Syndrome for a few years, and mine is not connected to cell phone, because I don’t use one. It is much milder than the vibrations of cell phones I’ve seen go off on a table. I think a lot of people are mistaking the connection.

    It started in one foot, then the other foot, now happens all over my body. It’s just this mild vibration that lasts for minutes, then goes away. Whether sitting, standing, even lying in bed reading a book, it just starts.

    Actually, it has been happening for so long, that I don’t even notice it that much anymore. My vibrations have just become the norm. I’ve mentioned to the Dr. and he was clueless.

    Like

  42. angie permalink
    October 30, 2011 12:45 pm

    my vibration started a week ago .the rhythem is constant in repetion with the vibratin of my cell phone ,,it scared me at first i thought i may have circulatory blockag ,mine occurs on the inside of my left foot. this sensation is very real and aggravating to say the least, im glad to know I am not crazyand there are others like me .if anyone finds a cure please keep me informed

    Like

  43. November 18, 2011 9:55 am

    I have vibrations in my feet and my ears….I DON’T OWN A CELL PHONE…..I feel the bottom of my feet get hot and then they start to vibrate…With the next day or two there s a major earthquake…Ive noticed that the vibrations in my ear have a pattern almost like in a pattern…Then a few days later small earthquakes happen….I am not crazy but concerned…Im wondering if these vibrations aren’t coming from H.A.R.P. I wonder if anyone has kept track of this like I have.

    Like

  44. rDubs permalink
    November 24, 2011 1:25 pm

    at least i’m not the only one.
    I think this is more an anxiety thing.
    It only happens when I put my phone in a pocket where I might not hear it ring or feel it
    vibrate…..and subconsciously I worry that it is ringing and that I might miss it.

    Thus the slightest vibration of my jacket on something or my keys shifting in a big pocket
    will cause me to think my phone was ringing/vibrating.

    Like

  45. john permalink
    November 28, 2011 5:22 pm

    i do not even have a cell phone and i have this so i wish people would stop sounding like i am crazy … i know the hat thing but not everybody who has this feeling is just missing thier little electric toys!!!!!! so please know that for those of us with real nerve damage and honest pains and unexplained vibrations that some times even wake us up;that when these wacks cry about there imaginary phone vibrations it makes it hard for us to get real help from our drs cause they think we are just part of the latest fad disorder. well i am glad that everybody can find a diagnonese for that fake symptom they have.

    Like

  46. January 3, 2012 9:21 pm

    hello!,I really like your writing very a lot! proportion we keep up a correspondence more about your article on AOL? I need an expert in this area to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Looking forward to look you.

    Like

  47. Will in south Florida permalink
    January 18, 2012 6:09 pm

    A friend just sent me this article because i was telling her about this vibration thing in my leg. It happens to me all day long!! Not only does it happen when my phone is off but I’m typing on my iPhone now and I feel like my phone is vibrating in my pocket. It is driving me crazy! Since I have phantom vibration syndrome (self diagnosed ofcourse) can someone write me a prescription to make it go away?!

    Like

  48. alien permalink
    January 20, 2012 4:23 pm

    Not sure i understand how it got political..

    I get these phantom vibrations in my left pocket all the time (and i’ll realize my phone is on my desk at work)

    Its amusing, not political.. not a trumped up horror to keep us in line, either.. Oh wait *facepalm*… linkbait. Well played

    Like

  49. Bobby permalink
    January 31, 2012 12:54 am

    Well I could not force myself to read all the moronic replies that people have put in on this. I have to step in and add a little information from a Medic standpoint… The shit about “ringexity” or what ever is BS. If this is true then those who have that are nut bags (Not the DSM-IV TR diagnosis but close enough). The problem with these types of articles is that they make a joke out of real problems. The vibrating or buzzing sensation that is spoke of is actually common. It can be in the leg where some wear thier cell phones but it can also be in other parts of the body. It can be in young to old alike, and even those who have never had a damn cell phone. If anyone is having this and thier Dr suggests they have cell phone anxiety or any other mental health issue they should do two things:
    First – fire your doctor, he is a dipshit
    Second – be screened by a real medical health professional to rule out
    M.S., Chrons Disease, B12 dificiency, nerve damage or inclussion secondary to buldging or herniated discs, and lastly liver function test. IF you have any of these DX’s already your doctor should be able to figure out if they are connected. If all of these are ruled out and you are addicted to your cell phone so badly that you always think its ringing, then throw the damn thing away and use land lines from now on your moron.
    OH and just a note. I broke my neck in the line of duty and now have a titanium plate and 6 screws keeping my c-spine in line. My nerves from the C4, C5,and C6 vertibrae are damaged and will not recover. I also herniated my T7/L1 disc which has not been repaired. My leg vibrates all the time, and I often think its my cell phone. It is doing it right now and has been for about two hours. I am smart enough to know there is a real physical event occuring and would punch any doctor right in the pie hole if he said I was having symptoms related to my cell phone (then I would fire him).

    Like

  50. Brian C. Crea permalink
    January 31, 2012 1:30 pm

    I am happy, I am not the only one who feels his phone vibrating in his pocket, when it is not there.

    Like

  51. Bill G permalink
    February 3, 2012 9:56 am

    I don’t understand why you’re anger about this issue. I read your about me and honestly agree with you on most of your opinions, but this seems like you’re trying to make it something it’s not. The government isn’t forcing this upon us. No one is saying it is lethal. It is something that exists and so people want to know what more about it. That’s what science is. The name is catchy, that’s why it was chosen. It sounds like a terrible Scooby-Doo villain, but I won’t forget it now. We have names for everything now because medical science has advanced to the place where we can accurately diagnose just about everything. I have this issue. It’s not ruining my life or keeping me awake at night. I simply wanted to verify that I’m not the only crazy who thinks his phone is vibrating when it isn’t there. You shouldn’t turn everything into a political rant for rant’s sake

    Like

    • February 3, 2012 8:44 pm

      I actually agree with you on this now. I wrote this post in 2007 and since that time I have decided to focus on issues which are more important than those such as this. It is ironic that this post and one other which I am actually embarrassed about seem to gain the most consitent following day in and day out. My time is better spent (I think) today on more important issues then it was when I wrote this post.

      Like

  52. Deb permalink
    February 9, 2012 12:35 pm

    Muscles can vibrate due to an infection in the body or other serious illnesses. It can feel similar to a cell phone ringing if it was up against your body. Before cell phones, this symptom may have been called tremors possibly. We now have a similar sensation to compare it to so we use that. While the template explaination makes sense, I would recommend if there are any other symptoms going on that a Dr. be contacted. I think both are possible from the information in this article and my experience combined. Just assuming a vibration feeling is from a cell phone could be a mistake. I don’t have my cell phone up against my body ever, but that is exactly what my muscles feel like every day a few times a day and I was diagnosed with a life threatening infection. Kind of like ringing in the ears- I am sure when telephones first were invented, similar comparisons were made but we all know ringing in the ears can be a symptom of a serious illness. Spend more time educating yourself and less time being critical. Bobby, I am so glad you pointed this out to everyone. I never post on the internet but I couldn’t help myself here.

    Like

  53. February 27, 2012 3:05 am

    I just thought I’d say something seeing as I have some experience with this. I got my smart phone around a year ago and after a while (probably a month I don’t know exactly), I had these occational “vibrations” I call them a muscle twitch. I cracked my screen and then I started using a old phone I used 4 years ago an didn’t have a twitch ever that I can recall. Now I have fixed my smart phone and I have these twitches again every now and then. Is it possibly the fact that we are basicly sticking a laptop in our pocket all day? And for the person that commented that is a surgeon your situation is understandable, I’m sure my legs would twitch after that as well. I know mine do sometimes after a good hard day of snowboarding

    Like

  54. kelly permalink
    April 6, 2012 5:36 am

    I have started to experience vibrating in my right foot. I dont or have ever had a mobile phone in my pocket. I feel it is coming from something else. I had it about 10 years ago when I worked in the Ski feilds and had to wear ski boots all day. Someone told me it was from that. I havent worn ski boots in along time and it has come back. Recently I have been diagnosed with a neurological condition ( hydrocephalus) an unusal and rare case. ( Im 40 with little or no symptons and not operated on to releave pressure). I seem to be doing ok but funny symptoms such as this vibrating and twitching muscles have started, there could be a connection.

    Like

  55. noreen wynne permalink
    April 7, 2012 12:16 pm

    I have these phantom vibrations in my left foot and hardly use my phone but it feels just like the phone vibration.

    Like

  56. Paul permalink
    June 5, 2012 11:06 pm

    I had to start leaving my cell phone on the console of my truck or on a desk while I’m working. If I leave it in my pocket for an extended time the spot where my phone was will vibrate 2 or 3 times a minute. It usually takes a few days for it to stop. Drives me crazy!

    Like

  57. June 12, 2012 12:30 am

    Plan old ridiculous, the reason your having a vibration any were in your body is nerves, anxiety is usually the number one cause for most of these crazy searches over some search engine, just type in some other stupid thing happening to your body, chances are your gonna come up with, stress, anxiety, nerves. Plan and simple if it’s not that then you’ve got a problem some were between your anus to your cranium some sort of nerve disorder maybe sevre or mild just see a doctor. Cat scans and Mri’s work wonders. Spoken from experience, anxiety is a beoutch.

    Like

  58. July 24, 2012 8:49 am

    Well I am glad someone put this out because I was so concern and still is about this vibration in my lower back, I don’t carry my phone on my person, its always in my bag, so it must be nerves. However, the best thing for those of us who are suffering from this vibration is to see a doctor!

    Like

  59. Anonymous permalink
    July 26, 2012 6:14 pm

    I’m experiencing this vibrating sensation right now. That’s why I googled the topic and found this blog. After reading some of the comments and possible causes, I keyed in on two things: caffine and stress. I’ve been slamming 5hour Energy this week like never before due to lack of sleep. Also, as I was reading, I focused on relaxing every muscle in my body. The vibrations stopped completely (until I satarted typing this message).

    I’m no doctor, but here’s my suggestion, try to relax. Find a stress relieving activity like watching lint float past the beams of sunlight shining through your window. Avoid excessive amounts of caffine and try to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If that doesn’t work, see a doctor. His advice may not be as affordable as mine.

    Like

  60. August 30, 2012 1:00 am

    At this time it appears like Drupal is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

    Like

  61. Thomas Charles Arthur IV permalink
    December 10, 2012 10:46 pm

    i have felt the “phantom vibrations” in my left leg for 4 years i dont even own a cell phone i want to know what it is i also know other people who feel the same thing i want a real answer

    Like

  62. Unforgotten permalink
    December 11, 2012 6:53 am

    If the vibrations also come along with a ringing in the ears the vibrations could be coming from electrical power lines or towers. Alot of power lines are run underground and even the power lines that are on poles can also cause this. Also find out how far you live from phone towers and any thing else that could be hitting you electrically.

    Like

  63. December 26, 2012 6:04 pm

    …i just came across your article in search of an understanding of what my leg has been doing and why…i keep my cell phone in a pocket on the side of my pants on vibrate…my leg now ‘vibrates’ only in the area of my pocket where the cell phone was whether or not my phone is even there (in fact, it’s doing it right now) and it does it for just about the same length of time my phone would be vibrating…it’s not uncomfortable…it’s just a weird sensation…i believe it is some sort of nerve reflex/memory issue and don’t consider it a big deal…i read that the solution is to simply turn off the vibrate function on the device or move it some place new until it starts again…it’s very real, but very insignificant on the scale of things we need to worry about…i just wanted to make sure i didn’t have some sort of cell phone irradiation that could cause some kind of cancer or other…

    Like

  64. January 15, 2013 2:58 pm

    Amazingly I just had this happen starting recently, only it’s not ring anxiety. This is a real physical phenomenon that may possibly be caused by a magnesium/potassium deficiency. True chiz. No name yet. Google it.

    Like

  65. crackers343 permalink
    January 26, 2013 11:30 am

    People like myself do not even have a cell phone and it concerns them as to why they are having this sensation in their leg. The drs and scientists ended up coming with a name for it because they just couldnt say i dont know, and ignored. Its too much of a phenomena to let go. I have been having this sensation for three days now and I cannot figure out for the the life of me what it is. I wouldnt care if it went on for a few hours, but a few days…well thats concerning.
    You think that its minute to worry about these vibrations, but as any doctor will tell you “Listen to you body, its trying to tell you something”.

    Like

  66. James Bowling permalink
    January 29, 2013 4:48 am

    What a crock!!!
    It must be from nerves in the lower back or sciatica or pinched nerve in hip area.
    My guess is as good or better than that cellphone crock.
    See a Neurologist for tests and an E.M.G. series.

    Like

  67. Brenna permalink
    February 14, 2013 4:22 pm

    This is crazy! Restless leg syndrome? And now phantom vibrations? The irony is that I had restless leg as a kid. It was so uncomfortable I couldn’t sleep! But somehow I’ve survived. Now I have these irritating sensations that my phone is vibrating even when I know it’s not in my pocket. I’m sure someone will come out with a pill, patch or suppository soon. We will be subjected to ads with a narrator warning of side effects with the clarity of an auctioneer. I won’t be the first in line!

    Like

  68. February 14, 2013 4:39 pm

    …people, you need to listen to yourselves…it’s not an issue…simply turn off the vibrate function on your phone or don’t wear the phone on your person!…that’s it…no pills, not surgery, no psychologist necessary…geez…

    Like

  69. J Fri permalink
    April 19, 2013 12:38 pm

    You little fuck don’t make funk can relate you fagot I have this

    Like

  70. Brent permalink
    April 19, 2013 9:33 pm

    Do not over analyze it. This is an interesting phenomenon experienced by many, this is just the reasoning behind it. I just expierenced it sitting here at the airport, only to realize that the phone receiving a silent incoming call was from someone standing 3 feet to my left. My muscles by my left pocket vibrated.. Freaked me out and I decided to google it. Maybe my brain filtered through all the signals it can pick up and filtered something out that matched MY phone’s template in my head. Oh, and my phone was in my hand.. But it was soo convincing because the vibrations came on and off 3 times before he answered his phone, then it stopped.

    Like

  71. marc permalink
    June 13, 2013 2:55 pm

    this is a real condition caused because of nerve damage of some kind. mine was traced to the fact that i have cancer in my L3 and L4. In the course of treatment the nerve was damaged. it is more common with heavier people and people with lower back problems.

    mine is not treatable but most people can have it repaired by changing thier cell phone batteries.

    Like

  72. bptr permalink
    July 23, 2013 5:19 pm

    I used to keep my cell phone in my right front pocket all day and I always got muscle twitches in the same place. I switched to the left pocket and now I get muscle twitches there. The only explanation can be the radiation emitted.

    The famed O.J. defense attorney Johnny Cochran died of brain cancer and was constantly on his cell phone. When they looked at an image of his brain, the tumor had the precise shape if a cell phone on the precise place that he had it up to his head all the time.

    Tell me there is no correlation. Come on.

    Like

  73. heidi isbell permalink
    July 30, 2013 6:07 pm

    MYTHEIDI These vibrations I get in my left leg, are as real as am I. I know it sounds crazy but til it happens to you, its unbelievable.I know Im not alone,Im sure with time aand more research we’ll find out.

    Like

  74. Jonathan permalink
    August 5, 2013 2:02 pm

    I had the same rhythmic vibration like a cell phone in my right leg just above the knee. It was going on 24 hours a day for the past 3-4 weeks. I thought about what was different in my life and after a few days I realized that the medication I take for my stomach, Pantoprazole (like pepcid) was a different generic brand than usual. I went back to the old generic brand and within 24 hours the vibration had stopped. I did some research and found that someone else had the same side effect when they changed to a different brand of stomach meds. So it looks like that for some people it may be a side effect to medication.

    Like

  75. blue permalink
    June 11, 2014 1:15 pm

    i have it in my legs starting from my feet and rippling up to my groin,at times i’ve had whole body vibrations.i do not carry a cell phone and haven’t for almost 3 years.i have my own theory on what it might be or could be but it always comes back to me being clueless.it has no pattern it almost seems at times it has it’s own personality,this combined with other things that are taking place.

    Like

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