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Watch: Do You Have ‘Ringxiety’?

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Have you ever heard your phone ring, ding or felt it vibrate but then looked to find no missed call or message? You’re not really losing your marbles, but you may be suffering from what’s known as Phantom Vibration Syndrome or ‘Ringxiety’ and the rate at which you experience it could reveal rather a lot about your personality, according to a new study.

According to new research published in the Cyberspychology, Behaviour and Social Networking journal, those prone to regular phantom buzzes also experience higher levels of attachment anxiety, and crave more reassurance and attention from their friends. So, the more insecure you feel, the more ‘ringxiety’ you’re likely to get.

Dr Daniel Kruger and Jaikob Djerf of the University of Michigan, compared the frequency of phantom ringing and notifications among 411 volunteers who had either attachment anxiety – worries about being abandoned or their feelings not being reciprocated – or attachment avoidance – keeping distance from partners. Eight in 10 said they had experienced phantom vibrations while almost half said they had ‘heard’ ringing. Individuals who scored higher in attachment anxiety were up to 18% more likely to experience phantom ringing and notifications.

“Mobile cell phone users have reported experiencing ringing and/or vibrations associated with incoming calls and messages, only to find that no call or message had actually registered,” said Dr Kruger.

“The cell phone often is your connection to your outside social world, and those people who crave reinforcement of their relationships will carry that into the social media space.” Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Dr Brenda Wiederhold, also notes: “There is a growing awareness that ringxiety may result in both immediate and longer term negative health effects, including headaches, stress, and sleep disturbances.”

These conclusions backup findings published by Georgia Tech University researchers, which also explored Phantom Vibration Syndrome. Though the exact reasons as to why we experience the phenomenon are still being established, Dr Rosenberger, Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech, speculates: “We have a phone call in our pocket all the time, and it becomes sort of an extension of ourselves.”

Nowadays, we’re always expecting some form of communication via our phones, so that if we don’t get that Twitter notification, for example, we become anxious and our dependence on this increases.

Have you reached this level of dependency on technology? If you need a break, the only thing for it (in this humble writer’s opinion) is to switch off the phone and go cold turkey. Your health is more important.

Via QSI News

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