Do you suffer from ?ringxiety??
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Do you suffer from ?ringxiety??

Virtually any sound can trigger the perception that your phone is ringing, writes Bobbie Johnson.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 13:48 IST
HT Style
HT Style

If you don’t have it, you probably know somebody who does.

With the number of mobile users on the rise worldwide, users are developing an increasing number of ways to fret about their handsets.

The result, say experts, is the telecommunications equivalent of phantom limb syndrome, where amputees feel the sensations of a limb that isn’t there any more.

Many of us will be familiar with the basest form of ringxiety — when one phone rings and everyone in the vicinity starts checking their pockets or handbags frantically.

But some cases become more complex: individuals have reported hearing their phone ring at concerts, or while driving.

The neologism was coined by David Laramie, who is studying for his doctorate at California’s School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles.

Laramie says he is a sufferer himself, and thinks similar sounds or sequences of notes can trigger the false perception his phone is ringing.

But ultimately it is more likely driven by a psychological need to be always connected, the same thing that encourages people to sit in the pub with their phone on the table.

If that’s got you in a panic, then you can always calm yourself down by remembering that ringxiety — like many maladies caused by modern life — isn’t a real, recognised condition yet.

First Published: Jun 02, 2006 13:48 IST