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What is the Imaginary Call Syndrome?

When at the end of the 20th century / beginning of the 21st century the concept of mobile telephony gained momentum, this spread through all markets and settled instantly in them thanks to prices and models for all audiences.

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Do you feel that they are going to call you? It happens to 80% of users.

When at the end of the 20th century / beginning of the 21st century the concept of mobile telephony gained momentum, this spread through all markets and settled instantly in them thanks to prices and models for all audiences.

Suddenly everyone had a cell phone and could call away from home without having to rely on the old telephone booths, the world was beginning to connect, but it was only the beginning. Less than a decade later the concept of smartphone was born, the truly important object of the new century.

Our smartphone is our temple

Using the mobile has become part of our life. It is the object that we see the most every day, we consult it more than 100 times on average, we sleep with it and it is the first thing we see when we wake up. We have entrusted not only agendas, but private, personal data, family photos, intimate images, hidden conversations, bank details. We buy from him, we are in contact with the whole world, we surf, we play, we watch series…

The most incredible thing is that far from remaining within their own concept, it is the concept that has been extended to other objects, and now we have the ecosystem of intelligent elements: a watch, a bracelet, smart glasses, even shoes, bicycles, and clothes.

We are more evolved than ever at a technological level, although this also has its dark side in the form of extreme dependence that many users suffer from their smartphone, who are not even able to turn it off for a few hours. Of course not everyone is like that, but the constant use we make of the smartphone has brought with it a curious syndrome that is accepted by the medical community. A syndrome linked with new technologies.

What is the imaginary call syndrome?

Have you ever noticed that the mobile was vibrating in your pocket and when pick it up you realized that it was not yours? Or instead of feeling it, have you heard it sound like a distant echo? It is something that happens to 80% of people whether or not addicted to your smartphone. In fact it has a name like the Phantom Vibration Syndrome and it is medically an hallucination due to the fact that it is something produced without the presence of a previous stimulus, but in a sudden way. Is it something bad? On the contrary, it is a convincing proof that we have an operative neurological and stimulus system.

There is a branch of science that studies the Theory of Signal Detection, and according to the theory, there are a number of psychological determinants on how we will detect a signal, and where our alarm limits will be. Experience, expectations, physiological state (fatigue, hunger, pain) and other factors affect the thresholds, and for example a soldier in time of war will probably detect weaker stimuli than if he were standing guard in peacetime.

Sensory notification

In itself the brain reacts in four different ways to a potential stimulus, two of them if the stimulus is actually occurring, and two of them if it is not occurring but the brain considers that it is happening. In the first case we have two correct decisions:

  • There is no stimulus and the brain decides as a consequence that there is not.
  • The brain decides that there is no stimulus and therefore this does not occur.

And two incorrect decisions:

  • There is a stimulus but the brain decides that there is not.
  • The brain decides that there is no stimulus but it ends up being produced as well.

Basically our brain is analyzing and valuing the consequences of an incorrect decision, and therefore chooses the scenario in which we have more options for survival (the basic impulse of the human being). Applied to the use of mobiles, when they call us and we do not take it, it automatically generates a feeling of anger, of anger, which the brain considers a negative scenario. So that it does not happen again, the brain creates a punctual hallucination that results in our feeling the mobile but nobody calls us. Why does he do this? Because we are waiting for a call, or because unconsciously we do not want to feel bad for not answering when they call us.

Basically it is the same thing that we could apply to when we buy from Amazon and other stores and the delivery day we do not move from home, sometimes having the feeling that they have called the bell when it has not been like that. Why? In this case, due to the enormous anger (negative scenario) generated by having to call the transport agency or worse: Having to go to look for their offices.

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