Many people wonder why are cell phones bad for you. The evidence is clear, they are bad in so many ways. Cell phones have taken over the world and us.
I don’t have to tell you that. Everyone, their grandmother, and their child now own a smartphone.
People are absolutely addicted to smartphone technology. According to recent research, 84% of teenagers have their own phone with 96% of Americans have one.
While they do have benefits and we need them to function today, there are so many negative aspects of cellphones that should really make us stop to think about how much we’re using them and try to change our habits.
- 10 Reasons Your Smartphone is Bad for You
- 1. EMF Radiation Emissions
- 2. Germs and Bacteria
- 3. Bad for your Brain
- 4. Blue Light: Awful for your Eyes
- 5. Negatively Affect your Mental Health
- 6. Physical Changes and Pain
- 7. Privacy and Security Concerns
- Time for Change
10 Reasons Your Smartphone is Bad for You
I’m sure I could give you more than 10 reasons to put your device down, but let’s stick to 10 negative effects of your mobile phone.
1. EMF Radiation Emissions
The worst thing about cell phones is the electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation they emit – constantly.
These levels wouldn’t be so bad if our phones weren’t glued to our hands, bodies, and faces 24 hours a day, causing us to have constant radiation exposure.
There are thousands of studies linked to negative health effects from this exposure, ongoing lawsuits for updated safety standards, and scientists and doctors calling for change and awareness.
Here are just some of the health problems that have been linked to cell phone use:
- Headaches and dizziness
- Fatigue, insomnia, sleep disturbances
- Anxiety and depression
- Changes in memory or difficulty with concentration
- Brain tumors and cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has labeled EMFs as class 2 carcinogens.
Too many people are either unaware or in complete denial about the effects absorbing this exposure has on them and likely have not connected their current symptoms to their phone.
Protect Yourself with an EMF Blocking Phone Case
If you haven’t already, it’s time to change your cell phone habits and start using anti-radiation technology to reduce your exposure. Here are my top recommendations for EMF blocking phone cases.
Since you likely have a case already, switch it out for an EMF shielding case, which will reduce the amount of radio waves your body absorbs from your device. This will help you both in the short-term and long-term, reducing your risk of EMF related symptoms.
2. Germs and Bacteria
Did you know that mobile phones carry ten times more bacteria than most toilet seats? So gross. Here’s the study that discovered this. I’m not making it up!
Germs are what cause our colds, flu, and illnesses. Your phone is literally a breeding ground of bacteria because of everything it comes in contact with; hands, counters, your purse or backpack, tables, chairs, car seats, etc. People also find the bathroom a great place to scroll.
You transfer more germs to your phone every time it comes into contact with something, and then those germs are transferred onto your hands, face, your food, your children and everything else you touch.
Germs thrive on your mobile phone because they stay warm all the time (from the battery heat, charging, and your body heat).
When was the last time you washed your phone?
3. Bad for your Brain
Cell phones are terrible for your brain and even worse for your child’s. Your brain is one of the most vulnerable organs you have and one of the most important (since it’s what makes you you and controls everything your body does).
Your cellphone use, through EMFs and just being on your device, is altering your brain.
Here’s just some of the things your cell is doing to your body:
- Affects how you think – changing the connections within the brain
- Affects your memory – we’re not using our memory but relying on our devices
- Is connected to premature thinning of the cortex (grey matter of your brain)
- Makes your brain lazy
- Increases your risk for gliomas, and brain cancer (60% increase for 17 minutes daily use)
- Trains your brain to be in a constant stress/fear state
- Reduces your ability to focus and attend to things (looks like ADHD)
- Sends Bluetooth radiation right into your ears through your wireless headphones
- Increases distraction
Research on children and teens shows screen time is linked to developmental issues (language skills, memory, attention). Prolonged screen time shows changes in MRI scans and average use is connected to lower scores on language and thinking tests.
Since children have thinner skulls, they are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of cell phones and we have no idea what long-term use over their lifetime is going to do.
Smartphones are not making us smarter.
4. Blue Light: Awful for your Eyes
Our smartphones, tablets, and computers give off artificial blue light, which is higher on the visual spectrum than natural light. It has shorter wavelengths and more energy.
A little bit of blue light can be good for you, but too much (like from a ton of cell phone usage) is harmful, especially since we hold our phones so close to our eyes. Blue light increases the risk of damage to light-sensitive cells in the eye. Blue light hits all the way to the retina. It increases your risk of macular degeneration, permanent vision loss, and digital eye strain.
Just two hours of screen time can cause dry eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. It messes up your circadian rhythm, REM cycles, and melatonin levels, affecting your quality of sleep and throwing off your sleep cycle.
This is why you shouldn’t look at your phone at least two hours before bed and definitely not in the middle of the night.
If you must be on your iPhone, here are some tips that can help you with blue light; switch to night mode on your phone, turn down your brightness, limit your screen time (especially at night), and use blocking screens and glasses.
5. Negatively Affect your Mental Health
Experts say that a high amount of screen time is connected to a rise in mental health issues in teens.
Cell phone addiction is a real thing. Your mobile phone use can affect relationships, interactions, and connection to friends, family, and other people.
The findings by these researchers shows some of the impact smartphones have on teenagers.
High levels of social media use are connected to feelings of dissatisfaction in life, FOMO, lack of closeness, less communication, more anxiety, stress, and depression. Results from the University of Essex show the negative effect cyberbullying has on humans, among other effects.
There’s also a link between phones and stress. The fear of losing your phone is called “nomophobia.” People also develop a stress response from notifications and alerts.
You have a hormonal change in your body from regularly receiving notifications (adrenaline boost), which then causes a physical stress response (increased heart rate, energy to your muscles) that can take a full 30 minutes to return to normal.
If you are feeling any of these symptoms, consider a digital detox or seeking out support from a professional. You are not alone.
6. Physical Changes and Pain
Cell phones have actually caused physical changes and pain in our bodies.
There are several types of injuries now directly caused by cell usage, including text neck, text claw, smartphone pinky, texting thumb, and smartphone elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome).
These injuries are seen by chiropractors, doctors, physiotherapists at an increasing rate. They are a result of prolonged texting and streaming, holding your phone in your hand and overall use.
Mobile phones are causing pain, inflammation, numbness and tingling in hands and fingers, poor posture, in addition possible long-term effects like hunched back, disc compression, spinal degeneration, loss of lung capacity, osteoarthritis, and more unknown permanent issues as our use of technology increases and we see what the long-term effects they have on the youth who have grown up on these devices.
Cell phones are also linked to EHS (Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity), a group of symptoms related to being sensitive to the electromagnetic frequency radiation emitted by our phones and other wireless devices.
Cell phones also cause accidents, injuries, and death through distraction, like distracted drivers and pedestrian fatalities. The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes are a result of phone use while driving, that’s 1 in 4 car accidents.
It is clear and alarming how harmful cell phone use is and even though a high number of people are aware of risks of physical harm, many continue to use their devices while driving or for extended periods of time.
We still don’t know the full extent of the damage these devices can do to our bodies. Only time will tell.
7. Privacy and Security Concerns
Even in Airplane mode, your phone is being tracked. Your device’s GPS chip and other sensors in your phone are always tracking your location data unless you are using a Faraday phone bag that blocks all signals. Hackers are everywhere and they don’t have to physically have your phone to access your personal information.
You’re at risk of data theft since your life is on your phone, including banking information, passwords, photos, emails, work information, etc.
On top of those risks, you’re also giving away access to your phone through the Apps you download. Access to your microphone, location data, contacts, social media, etc. These companies could (and do) turn around and sell your info to data banks and advertising companies, who then target you.
So, cell phones put your safety and personal information at risk and also manipulate you through targeted ads on the internet and social media.
Time for Change
A New York Post survey found that Americans spend 42% of their waking hours looking at screens (including cell phone, tablets, computers, TV). A digital analytics firm also found that the average person spends approximately 2 hours and 57 minutes a day on their phone.
It is clear that mobile devices are bad for you, causing pain, eye damage, brain changes, negative effects on your mental and physical health, and increasing your risk for serious and long-term problems.
Technology has made our lives easier in many ways, but it comes with a cost to us. It’s time to take steps to start changing our habits and use our devices less.
Is your cell phone worth the damage it is causing to your body?