Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I can feel you but you're nowhere in sight

In case you haven't figured it out by now, I am a nerd of the multi-purpose variety. However, you may have also discerned by now that I am not, despite my work in the software field, a gadget nerd. I was the last person I know to buy a CD player. Ditto with the cell phone. I don't know what I'll do if the cassette deck in the Buick ever gives out. I only have a laptop because work provides me with one. Ditto with the cell phone. And I own no mp3 players, Bluetooth devices, gaming systems or flat-screen televisions.
It isn't that I don't like these things, per se. I just don't feel compelled to own the latest and greatest.

I mention this mild technophobia because until a few months ago, my crackberry was set to vibrate with every email I receive. That's about 80 in a normal work day and 20 more after hours, and it was getting to where I couldn't concentrate on the task at hand. I finally found the 'phone only' setting, to fight the compulsion (and uncontrollable compulsion it was!) to check email every time the phone went off, and now it only vibrates when my phone rings, about five times in a normal week.

The issue I'm having is that my hip and leg still vibrate 20 times or more in a given day, even when I don't wear the phone. People refer to this as "phantom vibration syndrome", or "vibranxiety". Apparently our bodies just grow so accustomed to the vibration that when the phone isn't doing it, our bodies take over and mimic the sensation. Cell phone companies have paid doctors to insist there's no real nerve damage behind this phenomenon. That's akin to the National Diamond Council suggesting the appropriate price for an engagement ring. Can you say conflict of interest? Good, I knew you could!
Because apparently our nervous systems are screwing with us.

I used to just worry about the potential brain tumor from the phone's radiation, but now it's attacking me even when I'm not talking.

At least I can rest securely knowing that as I struggle furiously typing my manifesto in a tiny shack in Montana (on a manual typewriter, of course), I'll never develop Texting Thumb, or Guitar Hero Wrist, or Wii injuries. I'd be especially worried about that last one.


The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

i got a viral video that showed people popping popcorn with their cell phones. they made a tight circle of 3 or 4 phones, with the antennae facing inward, and put a few kernals in the middle.

i have no idea if this is a hoax, and frankly i'm too lazy to research it. anyways if it's true it says an awful lot about radiation from phones...

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I'm totally addicted to my daughter's handheld gaming device. If I don't get one for Christmas and/or my birthday, I might have to go downtown and file some paperwork.

Stuart said...

HA - that video is a fake. It's some European commercial for a mobile provider, I think. The point was to show the strength of their signal or something. I'm positive of this. I think.

Elliott - I too used to have a case of Phantom VibraThigh Syndrome, but since I've become less popular, it's much better. I also set my BlackBerry (I'm sorry, AfricanAmericanBerry) to silent on email alerts because of the annoyance factor. Oddly, the damned thing still runs out of juice after a few hours of merely being on. Argh.

wv - shoutsyl: the brand name for an adhesive used to seal the lips of really loud people

Bev said...

I dunno, phantom vibrations sound pretty good to me. I might never leave my desk again if those start kicking in!

carissajaded said...

Ha! @ Bev! Right?? I was thinking the same thing..

I wish I could relate. Unfortunately I will never have a vibrating phone. I'm too poor and I keep breaking the cheap phones I get. But I do check it compulsively...

Elliott said...

HA - I'm glad I didn't enter into the cell phone age early, because I'm sure I could have nuked a burrito on the old ones. However, I'm sure the first computer monitor I had at work back in 1992 was etching a sillhouette of me into the back wall of my cubicle - they actually brought in a radiation gauge to test them all. Did I get a new monitor as a result? Um, no.

Mjenks, I don't know what I'd ever do with a handheld gaming device, I didn't even understand the GameBoys my daughters had 10 years ago.

Stuart, it amazes me that sometimes I can go weeks without charging the phone, and other times it needs it daily.

Bev & Carissa, even if it was a joyful buzzing, you still must admit it would be a distraction from your daily living.

And Carissa, I found that when I had the cheap phones, I could dropkick them across a parking lot without any discernable difference in the phone itself. Once the company gave me a nice phone, parts started cracking or falling off if I looked at it wrong.

calicobebop said...

Vibranxiety? That's what I get when I can't find the adult toys!

Just kidding!

(not really)

Elliott said...

Calico, nothing wrong with adult toys when you're an adult.

However, when I started planning this I was looking for a nice Beach Boys tie-in. Try typing 'Good Vibrations' into Google Images, not the best thing to do at work.

Not that I write anything at work.


Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

I knew there had to be a name for it. I keep my cell phone in my front pocket most of the time which is real fun to try to get to your phone when your driving. (Wait, you didn't read that.) Even when I don't have my phone there, I swear sometimes it vibrates. Sigh. I feel so much better.

Be nice and share!

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