We live in a culture of contradiction. We equate glamor with destruction. We want an organic lifestyle in an urban setting. We want to live forever and we want to live fast and hard. We want the convenience of the simple life wrapped up in the fabric of a complex world; and we crave the kind of instant gratification that this era is becoming infamous for.
We may glorify living on the edge and say DGAF to danger. But there are real threats out there—and they’re right inside our pockets.
Research on the dangers of cell phone use (think: increased risk of brain tumors and other cancerous lesions) is rapidly bubbling to the surface of public awareness. With a trajectory similar to cigarette smoking it’s hard not to wonder what’s really going on beneath the surface of our tech-crazed brains.
My question is this: If there’s even a chance (and there definitely is a huge likelihood that it’s more than just a chance) that smartphones are in the least bit related to cancer-causing tumors in the brain and breasts, why the fuck do we keep using them?
Think back: remember your parents telling you not to put your face next to the microwave? They were worried about the electromagnetic radiation that the device emitted while you zapped last night's lasagna. The maximum emission that your phone—the one you hold up to your face, possibly keep in your bra and boys keep next to their love-junk—emits the same kind of radiation. The only difference is that the amount is potentially multiplied to seriously devastating levels. (Exact numbers aren’t readily available—and you can bet it has something to do with the influence of fat cats getting fatter off our need to keep up with the the latest tech development. Also note that almost every time you Google “breast cancer and cell phones,” the first link is an opinion piece against this claim—totally suspicious!).
Right now, there are about five billion people who gab daily on their phones globally and close to 60% of adults in America currently own smartphones. At this point you may be asking yourself, If so many people use these devices, where is the safety info?
Oh, it’s out there. Seriously, try searching “smart phones and cancer” and see how many tens of thousands of results pop up on your illuminated screen. PBS, CNN, CNET, Forbes, Yahoo, and the National Cancer Institute itself have all released articles that at the very least acknowledge that there is a high risk that there is a link between our phones and our health. Yet here still isn’t enough research to say for sure. Plus, no one wants to cause a panic which would inevitably result in a a pile of phones at the bottom of a deep, deep ditch.
If Google’s not your fancy, try reading up on your iPhone’s radiation info for yourself by going to Settings>General>About>Legal>RF ( Radio Frequency) Exposure. In there you’ll see the teeny tiny disclaimer that clearly states that iPhones should be held 10 mm away from the body at all times. (That’s gotta be why they give you the microphone earbuds.)
10 mm, and not to your skull or directly in your pocket or bra. Yet on TV and movies as well as IRL we see that little rectangle and many others like it held at close range with skin to phone contact. On top of that products are on the market that are basically saying to hell with that disclaimer and the available research! Put your cell phone by your goodies!
I’m not ready to say goodbye to my smartphone yet (I just got it last summer!), but the growing research for why I should is scary and astounding. The cultural path that smartphones are taking looks a lot like that of cigarettes—with doctors supporting and then damning “cancer sticks." For now, break out your earbuds and swat that celly away from your brain! Tuck that mobile in your handbag and keep it away from the baby makers, just in case. I’d much rather have be remembered as the “Me Me Me” Generation than the fool generation too tech blind to spot the truth.