It’s a good thing I’m not a hypochondriac, and if you are, I suggest you pass on this blog.
Do you ever wonder what would have happened if our parents would have tried to use half the excuses that are used today to get out of work or school? They wouldn’t have, partly because they knew better, and partly because most of the excuses hadn’t been invented yet.
There’s a syndrome for everything these days and here are a few of the most bizarre ones:
Exploding Head Syndrome: a disorder that causes sufferers to hear loud explosion-like noises within their own heads—even when their teenage sons aren’t playing the video game “Call of Duty Black Ops.”
Foreign Accent Syndrome: a speech disorder that is a result of head trauma and causes people to change their speech patterns and sometimes sound like they’re speaking with an accent. This is NOT to be confused with what happened to Tina Turner when she moved from Nut Bush, Tennessee to the big city or Madonna after spending a week in Great Britain.
But my favorite syndrome, or the one I can relate to most is the Phantom Vibration Syndrome…and no, it isn’t what you think. PVS is actually the sensation and false belief that one can feel one’s mobile phone vibrating or hear it ringing, when in fact the telephone is not doing so.
Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome is very similar except; of course the device is, well…in your pocket.
According to a recent Psychology Today article, psychologist Dr. Michelle Drouin, a professor at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana, performed a study on undergrads and even though most of them didn’t consider these phantom phone vibrations bothersome, she says it’s still a problem. Constantly or even frequently wondering whether we’re getting messages from our phones unconsciously bothers the brain, she says.
I’m no doctor, but I know that incessant phone checking interrupts the train of thought, is distracting in meetings and rude at the dinner table. It’s also bad during sleep and even worse during sex.
The article’s author, Dr. Larry Rosen has written a book about how technology interrupts our lives called iDisorder. I haven’t read it yet, but I do have some things I think I can contribute like:
I Know You Got My Text Syndrome: that uneasy feeling you get when you’re certain enough time has elapsed for someone to respond to your text message.
Please Let Me Get Their Voicemail Syndrome: That fervent prayer that you won’t have to actually talk to the person you called.
You’re Really Not Going to Answer Syndrome: That humiliating feeling you get when you watch someone check their phone and not pick it up after they realize it’s you calling them.
The Um…I Was on Another Call Syndrome: That uncomfortable moment when someone catches you check your phone and not answer it when you realized it’s them calling.
Phone technology will continue to invade our lives but we can take some comfort in knowing that we aren’t suffering alone. If you have a communication device-related syndrome to add to the list, I’d love to hear it…wait…oh, sorry, I was checking my phone.