You yawn. It’s been a long day. No, I mean, a really long day. You did a lot, but now that it’s over you don’t remember much. You’ve been dozing on your way home, keeping your eyelids open with the strength of Zeus.
You magically manage to complete your nightly ablutions without collapsing in the sink. You crawl into bed. Pull up the covers. Aaaaand, you’re up. You’re awake. How? Why?
You’re exhausted. But, your body can’t seem to chill out. OK. Let’s just check the mobile. Any new notifications? Lemme turn down the brightness. Oh, I wonder what she’s up to. Lemme see if his finsta story is interesting. Haha, the Bee Movie, but sped up. Oh, sugar honey iced tea. It’s three AM.
Smartphones can seriously affect your wellbeing. It will be far worse with 5G versions in near future
So, could you catch what’s wrong with this story? Other than it being oddly relatable and, quite frankly, such a normal nightly routine that its biggest abnormality lies in me pointing out this platitudinous happening, it all seems normal. Right?
And therein lies the problem. Let me explain. Being tired all the time isn’t right. Not remembering what happened during the day isn’t right. A probable cause? Your cell phone.
Do Cellphones Affect Memory?
We are in a digital age where we are inundated with a deluge of information. Trying to glean anything from today’s media is like trying to drink from a fire hose. Because of this “information overload,” we rely on technology more and our own memory less.
Professor Ian Robertson of Trinity College Dublin found that a ¼ of all Britons did not know their home phone number and ⅔ had trouble remembering the birthdays of their immediate family members. (But, it’s in the Google Cal / iCal right? So, who cares?) The results are in and this is just the beginning.
Perhaps our cell reliance is affecting our memories in other fashions–i.e. Being able to remember a digital copy of a photograph, but not the actual memory, for example.
Are phone screens bad for your eyes? Looking at cell phone screens in the dark. Is it bad?
Yes, the deleterious effect that our phones have on our memories is not this rose’s only thorn. Our next pain point with the cell phone is that it hurts our eyes and our sleep in the same stroke. A true double whammy.
So, we get natural light from that thing called the sun and smartphone screens emit a bright “blue light” (a.k.a HEV light – High Energy Visible Light) that competes with the sun in order to be seen even during the sunniest times of day. This blue light machination is the industry standard to make our screens viewable on a day-to-day basis.
When we stare at a device, transfixed, like a deer caught in the headlights, we don’t blink. Plus, we bring the device closer to our eyes than the distance we normally look at other objects. These things in tandem strain our eyes. Blue light is a part of the full light spectrum, which means it is a component of sunshine–something we’re exposed to daily.
The problem herein lies that when the sun goes down, our smartphones do not go with it. Meaning, we are still exposed to blue light when we use our phones at night.
Nighttime exposure to that light, which is emitted at high levels by our phones, tablets, laptops, and other LED screens, may be damaging your vision. “When you’re looking at a smartphone, the light peeking out of that is blue violet,” optician Andy Hepworth says. “Blue violet light is potentially hazardous and toxic to the back of your eyes.”
The sun dictates our light-related circadian rhythm and when we keep getting blue light from our phones, even after the sun goes down, our bodies become confused.
The additional blue light suppresses production of the hormone melatonin, which throws off your body’s natural sleep cues. No sleep = bad. No, we mean really bad.
Of course, as with all things, everything in moderation can lead to a much healthier lifestyle. This health ranges from digital wellness to physical well-being. Just as a final thought, however, what price should we have to pay for this level of connectivity? Is our health worth this level of convenience?
What is radio frequency radiation and how does it affect the human body?
Radio frequency radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation can be categorised into two types: ionising (e.g., x-rays, radon, and cosmic rays) and non-ionising (e.g., radio frequency and extremely low frequency, or power frequency).
Electromagnetic radiation is defined according to its wavelength and frequency, which is the number of cycles of a wave that pass a reference point per second. Electromagnetic frequencies are described in units called hertz (Hz).
The energy of electromagnetic radiation is determined by its frequency; ionising radiation is high frequency, and therefore high energy, whereas non-ionising radiation is low frequency, and therefore low energy. The NCI fact sheet Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer lists sources of radio frequency radiation.
The frequency of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation ranges from 30 kilohertz (30 kHz, or 30,000 Hz) to 300 gigahertz (300 GHz, or 300 billion Hz). Electromagnetic fields in the radio frequency range are used for telecommunications applications, including cell phones, televisions, and radio transmissions.
Cell Towers – 5G Wireless – Cell Phone Health Warning
The human body absorbs energy from devices that emit radio frequency electromagnetic radiation. The dose of the absorbed energy is estimated using a measure called the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is expressed in watts per kilogram of body weight.
Exposure to ionising radiation, such as from x-rays, is known to increase the risk of cancer. However, although many studies have examined the potential health effects of non-ionising radiation from radar, microwave ovens, cell phones, and other sources, there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionising radiation increases cancer risk in humans (2).
The only consistently recognised biological effect of radio frequency radiation in humans is heating. The ability of microwave ovens to heat food is one example of this effect of radio frequency radiation.
Radio frequency exposure from cell phone use does cause heating to the area of the body where a cell phone or other device is held (e.g., the ear and head). All these effects combined have a potentially detrimental effect on the human body.
When the far more powerful 5G network is rolled out, the dangers will increase immensely.