From Douglas Coupland's MicroSerfs: the twitching reaction of a group of people disturbed the the sound of a pager or mobile phone going off. Usually results in frenzied hunting through handbags, pockets, rucksacks, etc.
Especially frenzied when a phone goes off in a theatre.

The meeting collapsed into chaos as Fred's mobile went off. Everyone went into bleepilepsy until they realised they had better taste than to use the Nokia standard ringtone.

Dictionary of american slang with examples. .

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