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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Why do we feel that our cell phone vibrates and we do not have messages?

You’re not the only one this has happened to. There are many people who report daily that they have felt a short or long vibration in the cell phone; however, when checking the mobile device, they have not received a call or any message. What is this about? We explain it to you.

We sometimes feel this sensation when we put the cell phone in our pocket or we tend to keep it there. According to Robert Rosenberger, assistant professor of philosophy at Georgia Tech University, in an article cited by academicminute, this phenomenon is known as “Ghost Vibration”.

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In a co-written book called “Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human-Technology Relations”, Rosenberger mentions that the “phantom vibration” is nothing more than a pattern learned by our senses.

“Detecting a vibrating phone has become a habit, and the slightest muscle movement or the sensation of clothing moving could be mistakenly interpreted as the phone receiving a call or message.”, details.

It has nothing to do with an extra function within the settings of your cell phone. (Photo: MAG)

Likewise, he mentions that the stimuli we receive, in case we keep the cell phone somewhere close to the skin or touch, are usually learned and internalized and, by the slightest movement, it can be transformed into that “phantom vibration”.

Rosenberger even compares that “If you’re used to your glasses and they almost become a part of you, sometimes you can forget you’re even wearing them. The phone in your pocket is something similar.”.

Finally, he details that “as we use the phone every day, we develop perceptual habits related to the phone and it becomes almost an extension of our bodies. We train ourselves to be ready at any moment to feel an incoming call.” He also explains that phantom vibrations occur when we mistakenly perceive some other sensation (the phone moving in our pocket, for example) as an incoming call, all through force of habit.

So before thinking that it was your cell phone that vibrated inside your pants pocket, think about how many times you have had it there. In case you no longer use it in said garment, perhaps that pattern will be lost.

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