Jargon Watch: Phantom phone rings

Phantom phone rings – Mistaking everyday sounds for your cell phone ringing and then responding in a Pavlovian manner to the stimuli by checking your phone.Apparently advertisers are using this in a deliberate manner to prevent audiences from tuning out to their messages.

Mobile phone ring tones occur in an attention sweet spot of 1,000 to 6, 000 Hertz (babies crying also hit in this range).The solution? Get a piece of music as your ring tone.

From The New York Times (May 4, 2006) I Hear Ringing and There’s No One There. I Wonder Why by Brenda Goodman.