Updated: Sep 7
Mobile/cell phones have been a controversy since inception; however, they have become a major part of our lives, some even say too much. Commercials have taken it as far as making Siri your best friend and confident, showing people falling in love with their cell phones.
Evidence of Harm
As many as 1 out of 4 accidents are caused by people on their cell phones and most feel this is underreported leading to legislation in most states limiting cell phone use while driving. Cell phones have been associated with increased mental health issues in our youth and in adults including depression and anxiety. They have also been associated with increases in headaches, concentration difficulties, fatigue and sleep disorders.
There is an ongoing debate about the increased risk of brain cancer from cell phones and associated EMF (electromagnetic frequencies). In 2016 the EUROPAEM EMF guidelines addressed the new issues Doctors are facing with the myriad of symptoms patients report related to EMF’s and associated EHS (Electromagnetic hypersensitivity) from cell phones mostly however other sources as well. They have determined the following symptoms are most likely related to cell phone use: “there is strong evidence that long-term exposure to certain EMFs is a risk factor for diseases such as certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and male infertility. On the other hand, the emerging electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is more and more recognized by health authorities, disability administrators and case workers, politicians, as well as courts of law….. Common EHS symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, a lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms.” Rev Environ Health. 2016 Sep 1;31(3):363-97. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2016-0011.
Can we go back in time – most likely not; cell phones are here to stay. However, you can practice simple steps that will decrease your stress, anxiety and exposure to maintain a healthier life and a healthier relationship with your phone.
Turn off notifications and alerts.
Set specific times that you check your email, texts, news etc.
Stop use one hour prior to sleep, especially if you deal with insomnia.
Purchase an old-fashioned alarm clock for your bedroom and charge your phone in another room at night. If not, place it on Airplane mode or Do Not Disturb while you are sleeping.
Not sure how addicted you are? Download an App that tracks your phone usage.
Take it a step further and download an App that restricts use for you or your teenagers.
Visit ConnectSafely, for more ways to improve your relationship with your phone.
Visit EWG.org for 5 safety tips for safer cell phone use.
The smart phone can be a wonderful tool to access information easily and connect with people, however it is a tool and make sure you are managing it and it is not managing you.