May 26, 2012, 7:35 AM — It turns out that the phantom cellphone vibration syndrome is fairly common. Ask around. See if you can find someone who believed the smartphone in their pocket was vibrating but found when they checked, there was nothing new. No call. No text.
There's a growing body of research on phantom vibrations and many of the other problems associated with technology obsession, all of which is explored by Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in his new book, iDisorder.
Rosen, who earned his bachelors degree in mathematics before getting a Ph.D in psychology, examines technology's impact on our lives. His book, which combines the latest research with his own experience, anecdote and observation, warns about obsessive technological use and offers practical advice for keeping tech at bay.
In this interview, Rosen talked about some of the issues associated with unhealthy, or least unreasonable, levels of tech obsession.
What is iDisorder or technology addiction? Is it obsessive compulsive disorder, narcissism, depression, anxiety - none of this or all of the above? iDisorder is any psychological disorder that appears to be either caused by or potentially exacerbated by your relationship with media and technology. But, in fact, it's all of the ones you mentioned. Interacting with our technology can make us display signs and symptoms of everything ranging from depression to mania to narcissism to voyeurism - you name it. The research is all showing that it appears that these kinds of technologies can, unless we're watching what we're doing, lead to these kinds of issues.