phantom vibration
n. The perception of a cell phone's vibration in the absence of an incoming call or text message.

Example Citations:
It's not a trivial problem, according to his study of stress levels in 100 smartphone users, including university students, retail workers and public-sector employees. Some users in the study were so hooked that they reported feeling "phantom vibrations" from non-existent text messages.
—Adriana Barton, "Smartphone stress: Can you say irony?," The Globe and Mail, January 22, 2012

Psychologically, the key to deciphering phantom vibrations is "hypothesis-guided search," a theory that describes the selective monitoring of physical sensations, says Jeffrey Janata, director of the behavioral medicine program at University Hospitals in Cleveland. It suggests that when cellphone users are alert to vibrations, they are likely to experience sporadic false alarms, he says.
—Angela Haupt, "Good vibrations? Bad? None at all?," USA Today, June 12, 2007

Earliest Citation:
Just yesterday I thought my phone was ringing (vibrating) several times but when I went to answer it no one was there and no missed calls....

I tried searching for similar experiences but only found a few references to phantom vibration syndrome.
—carverrn, "Phantom vibration Syndrome?," eHealth Forum, June 2, 2004

Notes:

Related Words:

Categories: