Do you suffer from ringxiety? Ever suffered a fauxcellarm? Mistakenly hearing our mobile phones go off, feeling them vibrate or even seeing an instant message flash up on screen has become a common phenomenon for the Blackberry and iPhone generation . It’s no longer a novelty that these devices have become the principal means of communication and maybe expression for most of us, myself included.
We feel the need to carry our phones everywhere with us and check them compulsively, instinctively even in deference to the contact list filled with names that could message or call at any time. (There are more than a few names in my phone which upon reading I think ‘Who?!’)So it’s no wonder that we find ourselves unable to switch off, us and the phones. We are ever poised, anxious and anticipating the carefully chosen ringtone to play, or the literal buzz of the text message. Or BBM.Or Email. Or Facebook update. Or Tweet. It makes us happy when the world reaches out to us through our mobiles. Even our brains enjoy it, receiving a dose of dopamine that makes us do an internal ( for most of us) happy dance every time our phone calls for our attention.
And when we are separated for some reason from our phones, or if there’s been little communication coming through for a while we suffer withdrawal symptoms. But the body likes the dopamine rush produced when a message flashes up. Hence the phantom phone vibrations and the fear that we’re hearing things. Like a siren song leading a sailor to his doom, the ringtone that we swear to have heard leads us to eagerly check, only to find a blank screen. And we are left dejected , thinking thoughts like ‘Nobody loves me.’