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Have you ever felt your phone vibrating in your pocket – even when the phone is not there? Or perhaps you forgot to wear your fitness tracker one day, but still felt it going off on your wrist. What’s going on here?

Clinical psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD, says that these phantom phone vibrations are fairly common. In fact, 89 percent of the people in one study reported experiencing these phantom phone vibrations at one time or another.

Nearly 87 percent of those in the survey felt them weekly and 13 percent perceived phantom vibrations daily. Overall, most said the phantom vibrations were not bothersome.


Although there’s no hard evidence why we experience these fake phone calls, the phenomenon could be explained in a number of ways, Dr. Bea says.

One is that we anticipate those notifications so strongly that our minds sense something that’s not really there.

“Most of us are creatures of habit,” Dr. Bea says. “So we tend to carry our cell phones in the same spot. At the same time, in the back of our minds, many of us are constantly waiting for the next notification.”

When positive things happen at random intervals, we start to think about them a little more, hoping they will happen again.

“With that cell phone is going off intermittently, it gets us kind of anticipating and then feeling something that’s not there,” Dr. Bea says.

Personality counts

The study says that those people who scored higher in conscientiousness on a personality test experienced phantom vibrations less frequently.

People who talk on their cell phones a lot, or send more texts seem to experience the phenomenon more often. So, if you’re an extrovert, you may feel phantom rings because you’re calling, texting and tracking more people on social media.

At the same time, those who had strong reactions to text messages were more bothered by phantom vibrations. Anxious or insecure people may feel this type of phone vibration because they may worry about their social relationships more often and the communication related to them.
The good news is phantom vibrations are not a health risk. They probably amuse more people than they bother.

More amusing than bothersome

Dr. Bea says there are some things you can try to get phantom vibrations under control.

For one, you could simply turn off your device every once in a while. But if the prospect of going off the grid is too much to stomach, try switching the place where you carry your cell phone.

“You’ll be a little less attentive to one specific area and then you’ll probably be a little less likely to experience or misperceive the phantom vibration,” Dr. Bea says.

You also could take your phone off vibrate mode and use the audible ringer or change devices.

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/03/why-you-may-experience-phantom-phone-vibrations/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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