Have you ever experienced a phantom phone call or text? You’re convinced that you felt your phone vibrate in your pocket, or that you heard your ring tone. But when you check your phone, no one actually tried to get in touch with you.
You then might plausibly wonder: “Is my phone acting up, or is it me?”
Well, it’s probably you, and it could be a sign of just how attached you’ve become to your phone.
At least you’re not alone. Over 80 percent of college students we surveyed have experienced it. However, if it’s happening a lot — more than once a day — it could be a sign that you’re psychologically dependent on your cellphone.
There’s no question that cellphones are part of the social fabric in many parts of the world, and some people spend hours each day on their phones. Our research team recently found that most people will fill their downtime by fiddling with their phones. Others even do so in the middle of a conversation. And most people will check their phones within 10 seconds of getting in line for coffee or arriving at a destination.
Clinicians and researchers still debate whether excessive use of cellphones or other technology can constitute an addiction. It wasn’t included in the latest update to the DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association’s definitive guide for classifying and diagnosing mental disorders.
But given the ongoing debate, we decided to see if phantom buzzes and rings could shed some light on the issue.