Business, education, politics, science are greatly impacted by gadgets. It is quite complicated to imagine the modern world without such giants as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, LG, who are the main producers of highly technological gadgets. Nowadays almost all the companies regardless of size or ownership use computers and cell phones for storing business information and improving corporate mechanisms. It is impossible to imagine what can happen if all these devices disappear.
No one wonder that people rely on cell phones so much, because this device enables people to use different services that can facilitate daily routine. Survey conducted by Morningside Recovery Rehabilitation Center showed that the average American devote 144 minutes of his/her day to the cell phone and uses it during 16-hour period (Borelli, “5 Reasons Why Cellphones Are Bad For Your Health”).
Supporters of cellular phones claim that these devices are not that dangerous as it is they provide fast and effective way of communication. It is the best tool that can be used in case of emergency and it always facilitate everyday duties. Homework or any other kind of work can be done at home without printing it out. It can be sent with the help of internet to the email. The other advantage of cell phones is that it connects people, for example children with their parents. In case of after school affair or tutoring they can notify their parents (“Cell Phones”).
Despite the fact that cell phones simplify our life and become an essential tool for solving different problems, they can have a negative impact on our health if to misuse them. All around the world we can find people, who cannot live a day without using cell phone to either call to somebody, check social network profile or play games.
According to the report “Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy and the Wireless Revolution”, almost 70.000 cell phones are sold each day in USA. 110 million of Americans use cell phones and worldwide the estimated number of cell phone users is 1 billion people (Kim, “Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy and the Wireless Revolution - A Must-See Documentary on the Dangers of Cell Phone Use”). The growing amount of cell phone towers and different wireless antennas arise a number of concerns regarding the effects that radio frequency can have on our health.
There are numerous ways that mobile phone can impact the health. The high frequency radio waves, which are sent and received by mobile phone, could have a medium-to-long term risk on health. The other source of danger is battery of the cell phone. In case of extreme cold or heat, this component can become unstable and can cause harm directly to the phone user or the area where this device is located (“How Mobile Phones Are Dangerous to Health”).
Numerous scientific studies showed the potential symptoms mobile phone radiation can have on human health. These studies determine the effect of radiation absorbed by human body. The output power can reach 3.6 watts depending on the phone model. New models of cell phones do not have that high level of the output power, as they can automatically control it (increase or decrease).
“Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy and the Wireless Revolution” revealed the common health challenges which are linked to the exposure to radio frequency radiation:
- Damage to cellular DNA and abnormal cell growth;
- Anxiety, depression, irritability and difficulties with sleeping;
- Adult and childhood leukemia;
- Suppression of the immune system;
- Loss of memory and span deficit of attention.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden conducted a study, which revealed that microwave radiation impacted the brain of the rat. Even though this research was solid evidence and confirms previous studies, subsequent studies did not support this theory.
Apart from impact on the health cell phones also influence emotions. If two or more people are talking face-to-face and some of them has phone the atmosphere can become more strain. Scientists from University of Essex in the United Kingdom conducted a research in order to find out the effect of a mobile phone during a nose-to-nose conversation. In the first study, participated 37 pairs of strangers, who were asked to talk to each other, within 10 minutes, about different events that happened in their lives within the past few months. One half of the participants were seated in the separate part of the room and had mobile devices on the desks, the other half did not have mobile devices. The results were quite interesting, as those, who had cell phone were perceived by a stranger less positive, compare to those, who were without mobile device.
In the second study, participated 34 pairs of strangers, who were supposed to discuss some trivial topics while others discussed serious events. Half of the participants used mobile phones for chatting, the other half communicated with the help of notebook. Results were next: those, who used notebook and were discussing serious events felt closer and trustworthy to the stranger, unlike the group that were using cell phones. The results of these studies proved that human relations can be interfered by the presence of mobile phone (Borelli, “5 Reasons Why Cellphones Are Bad For Your Health”).
Here is another reason that makes us think whether mobile phones are useful or dangerous. No one wonder that cell phones are widely used in educational sphere. Modern mobile phones give an access to different educational services such as Ruzuku, Digital Chalk, SkyPrep, WizIQ and different others. In few clicks student can get all the essential information and learn new subjects absolutely for free or for a frugal price. Such online education is especially interesting for those people, who cannot afford expensive study in prestigious universities. A survey that was conducted among 550 people revealed that 86% of respondents’ accesses online library sources with the help of mobile phone on the daily bases, 73% use mobile phone to find some scientific information once a week, 16% use it from one to three times a month and 11% did it only once a month (Becker, Crandal, Fisher, “U.S. Impact studies. Web Survey Results”). With the help of cell phones it is much easier and faster to do the homework (in case of any questions that are related to the certain assignment, student can easily get in touch with the professor and discuss different issues).
But the other side of the coin is not that simple. A survey showed that the number of mobile users continuously grows: 70% of children aged 11-12 years have their own mobile phone and 90% of those, who are 14 years old (Arthur, “UK launches largest study of mobile phone effects on children's brains”). Some children become too addicted to the mobile phones and this can be compared with the cigarettes addiction. They can use cell phones for cheating while taking different tests. Other can become to obsessed with the games and lost the essence of real life. Also some cases of Gang violence are observed. Thus, parents should pay attention to how their children use these devices.
President of American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Robert Block says that the average RF energy has twice as much impact on the child’s brain and 10 times higher impact on the bone marrow of the skull (Rochman, "Pediatricians Say Cell Phone Radiation Standards Need Another Look"). A study showed that children under the age of eight are more vulnerable to the radiation than adults, because of their lower skull thickness (Wiart, "Analysis of RF Exposure in the Head Tissues of Children and Adults").
The other public concern is related to the use of mobile phones while driving. Some people claims that the greatest advantage of mobile phone while driving is the security. In case of emergency (car accident or other unexpected situation) driver will be able to ask for a help by making emergency call. Navigation system of the cell phone can easily find the necessary route. FM radio can provide information about whether conditions or traffic jams (Stunguist, 2006).
But there are also numbers of negative effects. Different researches showed that use of mobile phones while driving causes more fatal accidents. While handling phone and vehicle, driver can lose a control on the traffic and road. It is thought that during driving cell phones also decrease the mental capacity of driver and he/she can fail to concentrate on the activities that are happening around them. The distracted attention may result in slow response to traffic events and traffic signals. Studies revealed that the reaction can be broken and slower during driving while using phone. Communication on the phone during driving greatly impacted the concentration, perception, vision and general awareness. It is can be especially dangerous when the weather conditions are not that good or roads are slippery, a second distraction can increase the risk of fatal accident (Gravelle, 2005).
It is obvious that cell phones have both pros and cons. Even though cell phones facilitates the process and communication and make human’s live more convenient, people are too engrossed by these gadgets. Yet, mobile phones still have a negative impact on communication, health and of individuals. In order to avoid such issues every person should manage time of using mobile phones and realize all the implications. The awareness of disadvantages of frequent use of mobile phones should be improved as well. The best way is to find ‘silver lining’ and always remember that even without modern gadgets life can be full of colors.
Borelli, Lizetti. “5 Reasons Why Cellphones Are Bad For Your Health”. MedicalDaily. July 2012. Web. 29 November 2014
“Cell Phones”. Angela's Digital world's blog. December 2007. Web. 29 November 2014
Kim, Ben. “Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy and the Wireless Revolution - A Must-See Documentary on the Dangers of Cell Phone Use”. Dr. Ben Kim Experience Your Best Health. March 2012. Web. 29 November 2014
“How Mobile Phones Are Dangerous to Health”. Tech-FAQ. December 2012. Web. 29 November 2014
Becker, Samantha; Crandal, Michael D.; Fisher, Caren E. “U.S. Impact studies. Web Survey Results”. Seattle Public Library. Seattle Public Library, February 2010. Web. 29 November 2014
Arthur, Charles. “UK launches largest study of mobile phone effects on children's brains”. The Guardian. May 2014. Web. 29 November 2014
Strunguist, D. Mobile Phones and Driving. Nova Science Publishers, 2006. Print
Gravelle, K. The Driving Book: everything New Drivers Need to Know but Don’t Know to Ask. Walker Books for Young Readers, 2005. Print
Rochman, Bonnie. "Pediatricians Say Cell Phone Radiation Standards Need Another Look". Healthland. July 2012. Web. 29 November 2014
Wiart, J. et al., "Analysis of RF Exposure in the Head Tissues of Children and Adults," Physics in Medicine and Biology, July, 2008. Web. 29 November 2014