top of page
  • backtolife

Cell Phone Zombie

At this time in history the average person in their lifetime will spend 5 years and 4 months on some sort of devise. That's 36% more time than any of us spend eating or drinking!

Ready for the BIG question?!? Do you, or anyone you know suffer from Nomophobia? I bet your wondering what that is huh? NO MObile PHOne phoBIA is a 21st-century term for the fear of not being able to use your cell phone or other smart device. Obviously, there are some serious ramifications to having a cell phone habit. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mobile phone use is partially to blame for the distracted driving that kills an estimated nine people each day and injures more than 1,000.

As with all of my blogs that require a lot of research, I for one can say this was all done on my computer and not the cell phone. I have maybe checked my phone though every few minutes. I guess, I for one am guilty as charged. When did this all change? Having the world in your hand. As a child if we needed to know anything it was straight the encyclopedia. Do they even make those anymore? Now that the world is in your hand do we expect life to be the same? Fat food. Drive thru oil changes. Pharmacy pick up lanes. Wait a minute, you can even get married at a drive thru. Guess my previous question has been answered.

Neurologically though are we able to process this fast new world? Cell phones have only gotten smaller and faster. In reality they are relatively new, science does not fully know the implications of recent advances on fully brain development. How does texting affect social skills? Have video games replaced more active sports? Does the constant exposure to world suffering desensitize us? Does the flood of information with frequent interruption  affect our attention spans? Do multi media options affect our reading abilities?

Do Cell Phones Pose A Health Hazard?

Do you feel like you can't concentrate anymore? Has your ability to remember things you've read gotten dramatically worse since you started doing the lion's share of your reading online? It's not your imagination.

when we read digital media, the cluttered landscape of links and ads and the short bursts of attention that are required by scrolling and swiping and tweeting result in a contradiction in terms: "an intensely focused state of distraction." And while that distraction seems like it should be temporary, its effects are actually chillingly long-term. This type of frequent, focused distraction,isn't just capable of creating long-lasting changes in our brains; it is particularly good at doing so. The intermittent rewards that we get from from the anticipation you feel whenever you pick up your phone as been linked to the same thrill and dopamine release people who play slot machines.

Children are now using tablets and smart phones at very young ages, with many apps now aimed at toddlers aged 2 years and up. Because kids are still developing, any effects cell phones may have on the human body would be more risky for children. For example, young children have thinner skulls to protect their brains from the effects of radiation, which can also penetrate into more important parts of their brains than in adults. Today, cell phones and tablets (which work in the same way) carry health warnings, telling users not to place phones close to their abdomens (around your stomach area) and to hold tablets at least 20 cm (8 inches) away from their bodies. Since no one really knows for sure if the radiation from phones is really dangerous, these warnings may be there just in case – but does anyone really pay attention to them? One couple that is a household name, Bill and Melinda Gates, did not allow their children to have phones until they were 14. Steve Jobs reportedly didn't let his children play with iPads. Just something to think about.

Cell Phone Safety and Cancer:

People have been using cell phones since the 1980s, though it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that their popularity really exploded. Before that time, they were big, chunky bricks that were still super-expensive, but these days, after 20 years of development, mobile phones are now sleek, smart, and powerful. Research into cell phone use began in the 1990s after numerous people began to complain about headaches related to their use. Cellular phone networks use radio waves to transmit information to and from phones, and never before in history have humans carried around devices that put them in such close contact and for such long periods of time with radio wave transmitters and receivers. Because each person tends to use a phone on the same side of their head almost every time they call, researchers started to wonder if the radio wave radiation that the phone used would cause health problems, specifically on the side of the head where the phone was used. It turns out that answering the question, “Do cell phones cause cancer?” is far more difficult than it might seem at first. Many doctors studied brain tumors and their relationships to cell phones, and some claimed to have found connections between the two. They said that people who talked on their phones for many hours each day for years had a higher chance of having brain tumors than people who didn’t use cell phones. However, other studies didn’t find the same results – this means that we’re not sure yet if cell phones really can cause cancer or not. The danger is that shortwave radio waves don’t seem to affect the cells in your body, but they can affect DNA, which is the important chemical in all of your cells that holds the instructions for creating new cells.

As well, many forms of cancer take 20-30 years to develop, and since cell phones haven’t really been used for that much time, it’s not yet clear whether they are totally safe or not. We should, however, begin to find out in the next 5 years or so as long-term cell phone users age

According to current data, the FDA believes that the weight of scientific evidence does not show an association between exposure to radiofrequency from cell phones and adverse health outcomes. Still, there is consensus that additional research is warranted to address gaps in knowledge, such as the effects of cell phone use over the long-term and on pediatric populations.

*The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Radiofrequency felds as possibly Carcinogenic to humans on May 31, 2011*

Although the existing scientific data do not support a change in FDA regulation of cell phones, the FDA has urged the cell phone industry to take a number of steps, including:

  • Support additional research on possible biological effects of radiofrequency fields for the type of signal emitted by cell phones.

  • Improve cell phone design by minimizing radiofrequency exposure to the user.

  • Cooperate in providing cell phone users with the latest scientific information on health concerns caused by radiofrequency exposure.

With all this information and even lack of information about the long term effects of cell phones and devises the reality is that people have a need for such technology. Life, work, play, or whatever drives us is dependent on it. There are some measures you can take to lessen your exposure: Hand-free kits. Head sets. Bluetooth devices. Blue Light shields and more. Protecting yourself is the least we can do while the speedy world flashes through new technology and long term research based on exposure to the human body.

Can Chiropractic Care help?

Other health ramifications include text next -- that cramping, stabbing pain that comes after looking down at your phone too long -- and poor posture which can affect your spine, respiratory functions and even emotions. Researchers have also found that the blue light emitted from our cell phones and other internet devices can disrupt melatonin production and therefore our sleep.

bottom of page