By Evan Smith

It can happen anywhere—in the school hallways, at the movie theatre, in a restaurant, even in the safety of your own home.  It strikes without warning.  You may be going about your day when suddenly you feel a vibration against your leg.  You reach into your pocket for your cell phone, only to find that no one has called you, no one has texted you either.  You thought your phone was vibrating—but it wasn’t.  It wasn’t vibrating at all.

Yes, Phantom Phone Vibrating Syndrome (or PPVS) has become a devastating and widespread epidemic, affecting many students at this very school.  Tragically, the aforementioned disease can lead to awkward social moments, as well as a false sense of hope that you have friends calling or texting you to hang out, when really, you are just a lonely and miserable human being.

I recently spoke with Dr. Vladimir Stalingrad, Ph.D.*, the leader in PPVS research.

“We are currently trying to determine whether PPVS is based on environmental factors, or whether the disease is linked with genetics,” Stalingrad said.  “The PPVS research Institute in Newark, New Jersey is attempting to uncover these mysteries.”

While there is no definite cure for PPVS, doctors are offering suggestions for dealing with the disease when it strikes.

“Claiming to be checking what time it is can be a great way to avoid social embarrassment when afflicted with PPVS,” Stalingrad said.  “Also, pretending to be responding to an older text is another solid method of dealing with the condition.”

The most important thing for students to know, however, is that they are not alone.  PPVS affects those of all walks of life—from the nerd to the jock, the basketball star to the prom queen.

“It’s something that keeps me up at night,” said one PPVS victim* at the high school.  “Every time I’m about to fall asleep I feel another vibration against my leg.  I check my phone, but always it is the same—no new calls, no new texts.  I feel like I’m being tormented.  Why can’t it stop?”

If you or a loved one has been afflicted with this terrible disease, please contact the PPVS help line (1-800-BAD-VIBES) or call your doctor.

If not treated immediately, PPVS can, in some cases, lead to the much more serious PPRS (Phantom Phone Ringing Syndrome), in which the afflicted believe they have actually heard their phone ringing.  Unfortunately, PPRS is not treatable in any way, and those affected will have to be quarantined for the rest of their lives.

Take it seriously!

*denotes a person who does not actually exist.