Effects of Mobile Phone on Human Health, is there really any danger associated with using a cell phone?
The year was 1973 when a Motorola employee, Martin Cooper stood in Manhattan and placed the first ever call from a mobile phone to the headquarters of Bell Labs in New Jersey.
That was the moment our generation was revolutionized. But have you ever sat and wondered if this luxury tool that has had a profound effect on making our lives easy, enjoyable and livable could be having dangerous effects on our lives and health?
In this article, we discuss the Negative effects of Mobile Phone on Human Health and some ways to fix it.
Since 1973, the number of calls and call times of people has generally increased. With the advent of social media and instant messaging apps, the amount of time we spend on our mobile phones has INCREASED DRASTICALLY.
There are times when we spend more than four hours consecutively on our mobile phones switching from one app to another. We go from instant messaging to social media, to facetime, to candy crush like a programmed mindless robot.
What all this screen time and “pop culture” navigation get us are information and entertainment, but there are some adverse effects it poses on our health if adequate precaution and care are not taken into consideration.
Those effects are not limited to the physical. Our mobile phones also have mental and sometimes emotional effects on our health.
Below are 5 Negative Effects of Mobile Phone on Human Health and How to Deal with It.
1. It can affect your Cognitive Capacity (Working memory capacity and functional fluid intelligence)
The signals are everywhere if we take a moment to look around us. In his book “smart phones dumb people?”, Parthajeet Sarma talked about how technology is taking over our lives.
Not in a Skynet type of way, YET, but we all depend on our phones heavily for day to day cognitive tasks ranging from the simple ones like performing simple subtraction to the technical ones like knowing what the weather would look like today. This act is having a negative effect on the cognitive abilities of our brains.
“Our smartphones enable and encourage constant connection to information, entertainment, and each other. They put the world at our fingertips, and rarely leave our sides. Although these devices have immense potential to improve welfare, their persistent presence may come at a cognitive cost” – a study conducted at the University of Chicago
Researchers are referring to this condition as Smartphone-induced “Brain-Drain”. Working memory is the ability of the brain to remember information temporarily and functional fluid intelligence is the ability to solve problems and identify patterns.
The study tested these two functions on nearly 800 phone users. It was found that having your phone nearby when you want to perform a cognitive task like taking an exam reduces the capacity of the working memory and functional fluid intelligence compared to putting your phones in other rooms or leaving it at home altogether.
So, part of that recent forgetfulness you’ve been experiencing might be due to your constant use and presence of your mobile phones around you.
2. Your cell phone is a germ “warehouse” which promotes free radicals, bacterial infections, and viral infections.
You probably don’t know your cellphone has 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
This was found by scientists at the University of Arizona. Our hands are a good general collector of germs because of all the places and things we touch during the course of the day.
These germs are often transferred through our hands every time we check a mail or text for instance to the surface of our cell phones. Because of the nature of the material of the phone surface, these bacteria can stay on there for a long time.
Typically, most of these germs are not the type that will make you sick, but because some people are fond of taking their cellphones to unhygienic places like the bathroom or toilet, studies have also found samples of Streptococcus, MRSA and even E.Coli on the surface of cellphones.
And because cellphones change hands a lot of the time, these bacteria can be transferred from one phone to the other. Viruses can also easily spread through mobile phones.
Someone having the flu or a cough, for instance, can easily infect another person through their mobile phones. A man in Uganda allegedly got the Ebola disease after stealing a mobile phone.
These germs won’t readily make you sick but you have to find ways NOT to let them enter your system.
Some of these germs create free radicals which promote and enhance skin irritations like acne when exposed to the skin. If for instance, you suffer from a case of acne, you might want to refrain from using your hand to rub your face after using your cell phone.
This GERMS is proof of the effects of Mobile Phone on human health but there is more.
3. It emits radio frequencies that MIGHT increase the long-term risk of developing brain tumor and cancer
A radio frequency is a form of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) that the cell phone uses to communicate with base stations. It is a type of non-ionizing (low-energy) emf that can be absorbed by tissues close to the phone.
Exposure of the phone user depends on the proximity of the user to the phone, distance to the cell phone towers and the technology of the phone.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified the radio frequency from mobile phones as “possibly Carcinogenic” which means “could be some risk” of carcinogenicity (could be some risk of developing cancer and tumor).
“While adults are “somewhat” safer from these radiations, children have the potential to be at greater risk for developing brain cancer because their nervous systems are still developing and therefore more vulnerable to factors that may cause cancer”.
– Zahid Naeem; International Journal of Health Sciences
Though, these frequencies have been found to cause mild fatigue after prolonged user exposure. Also, they cause direct brain warming but the warming returns to normal after mobile phone use.
4. It is very addictive, You could be suffering from NOMOPHOBIA
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism” – Carl Jung
NOMOPHOBIA is a 21st-century term coined from “NO MObile PHOne phoBIA” for the description of over-dependence on mobile phones. According to CNN, the term means the fear of not being able to use your cell phone or other smart devices.
We all cannot deny the importance of cell phones in our day to day living but one harmful effect that it has on us is that we can easily form an addiction to it. To check if you are addicted to your cell phone click here for a short quiz.
All addictions no matter how minute or different always have the same effects on the addicts. The symptoms might just be in varying proportions based on the substance of abuse and frequency but the baseline symptoms and effects are similar.
Some symptoms of cell phone addictions that are rampant nowadays are;
- Neck problems and neck pains
This comes about as the side effect of looking down at your cell phone for an extended period of time. It is also referred to as text neck.
- Digitally induced eye problem
Staring at a screen for more than two hours at a stretch always present a form of strain on the eye. These eye problems associated with too much screen time can present itself in the form of itching and burning of the eye or blurred vision.
- Headaches that result from Eye-strain
Most people are guilty of this from time to time including the author of this post. I suffer from these occasional headaches after I have been on my smartphone for a long time.
Most people complain of headaches usually after staring at their mobile phones for over four hours. They often fail to make the correlation with their excessive screen time.
Some even go to the extreme of taking prescription drugs for those headaches. Whereas, these headaches are caused by straining the veins in the eye through staring at the screen for a long time. These headaches usually subside after the eye has been allowed to rest.
- Running into walls (Attention Deficit)
Have you ever seen those people that bump into you while you are walking on the street because they are too busy typing on their mobile phones to pay attention to where they are going to?
Knowing what you know now, you should have an understanding that they are just addicted to their cell phones.
Cell phone accidents are not only limited to on-foot passers-by, it also extends to cars accidents on the road.
“The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year”.
- Withdrawal symptoms when there is no access to your cell phone
Subtle withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced when there is no access to one’s cellphone include anger, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and depression in some cases.
This happens when maybe the phone is faulty or there is no power on the phone for an extended period of time.
- It can be a bottomless pit where time goes to die
When you notice that precious time flies by while you are on your cell phone, then you might be addicted to it.
- It disrupts sleep time
Most people go to bed with their mobile phones in their hands. The implication of this is that it prevents the ability to sleep early and this leads to less overall sleep time.
Not getting enough sleep (7 hours on the average) raises the cortisol level in the body which increases stress level.
5. Mobile phones block your vibration thereby enhancing negative emotions
I was once told mobile phones block our vibrational frequency. I did a little bit of experiment by getting EMF blockers for my phones and I discovered that my overall mood was improved.
I couldn’t share this knowledge with people because it somehow felt esoteric and once you start talking to people about this stuff, they kind of cut you off saying that it is all “law of attraction bullshit”.
I wouldn’t have included this point in this article but thankfully, science has finally gotten around to this.
Two studies were conducted at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom where researchers asked 37 pairs of participants who are strangers to each other to sit face to face and have a conversation in the first study.
Each pair was instructed to have a ten minutes conversation with one another while discussing something interesting that happened in their lives one month ago.
Half of the group sat in an area where cell phones were placed on the desk close to them while the other half had no cell phone close to them.
The results showed that those with cell phones were perceived as less positive by the stranger compared to the other group with no cell phone present.
The second study including 34 different pairs of strangers was asked to discuss significant events in their lives and trivial topics while half of the group was asked to chat with cell phones and the other half was given a notebook.
The group without the cell phone reported experiencing a feeling of closeness and trust in the stranger compared to the group with the cell phone.
Humans are vibrational creatures because we are made of energy. Like the cell phones we carry around in our pockets, we also radiate energy.
When this energy flow within or without us is blocked, we start feeling some form of negative emotions.
Because our mobile phones emit radio frequencies which we actually absorb, this radiations blocks our energy paths and makes us feel crummy for reasons we find very hard to place our fingers on.
Solutions to the negative effects of Mobile Phone on Human Health
It is not easy to live in a world without cell phones anymore. The best thing that can be done is to find a way to combat these negative effects that cell phones pose to our health.
Get EMF-blockers for your Mobile Phones
Nowadays, we are being bombarded with EMF radiation from every corner. All devices emit these radiations in varying amounts and it is a very reasonable thing to guard ourselves against them as much as possible.
EMF-BLOCKERS are materials that block emf radiations. It might be in the form of an attachment you put on the device or bracelets you wear around your wrists.
You can get good EMF blockers on Amazon or do a general search through search engines to find the ones that fit your purpose.
Stop taking your phones to unhygienic places and start cleaning your phone regularly
If you are the type that fancy listening to music while you are on the shitter, it’s time to stop doing that. If one way or the other, you find yourself in an unhygienic place, try putting your phone in your pockets.
Also, try to form the habit of cleaning your phone regularly. You can use a lint-free cloth to wipe the phone down.
If that doesn’t feel enough in your mind, you can mix distilled water with isopropyl containing alcohol and spray a LITTLE amount on the cloth and use it to clean the phone.
DON’T add too much to the cloth in order not to damage the phone.
Take a time-out
Even sports-players that look like they can go forever know the importance of taking time-outs.
You need to start taking scheduled time-outs on your mobile phones.
Start having phone-free hours in the course of your day.
It might be the hours leading up to your bedtime or some hours in your afternoon.
Deliberately and consciously stay away from your phone for a period of time in order to allow your brain to re-calibrate itself so that over-dependence on mobile phones will be reduced.
NEVER EVER EVER take your phone to bed anymore
It goes without saying that any business needed to be conducted on the phone should have been concluded as at bed.
And if not yet concluded, shut down your phone anyway.
Let the sleep hormone kick-in and do their work while you have a good night’s rest.
You really need it.
You deserve it.
You now know the effects of mobile phone on human health, you should share with your friends if you find this information useful.