From Mommy Underground
Technology has transformed lives in so many ways, to less invasive surgical procedures to being able to reach anyone in the world with a touch of a button.
As with all things that have power, it also comes with an increased responsibility. This translates to a heavier load on the overworked parent.
So, with all the conveniences a cell phone offers, is the downside of owning one worth it?
Not having a cell phone is like going “off-grid” every time you go grocery shopping, as Tanya Kuzmanovic puts it when writing for Scary Mommy.
When someone wants a play date, they would have to wait to reach you on an old-fashioned thing called a “land-line.”
Yeah, it’s annoying when you are stuck in traffic and are going to be late for work or school, but hopefully, you leave your kids with intelligent people that can figure out a solution in your absence.
There are skills that those around you are forced to sharpen when they can’t reach you anytime they get the whim to talk.
Making plans with someone is so fickle these days. Both parties are aware that plans can be changed on the fly because you can shoot over a text when you are going to be 30 minutes late.
With no cell phone to text, people are forced to follow through with what they say they are going to do, or stand you up; in which case you can slim the weekly itinerary down.
The same goes for you, if you are out and about and want to spend an extra 15 minute at the store, you are going to have to forgo the temptation so you can be counted on.
There once was a time when people met up with each other face to face to communicate to one another..and FaceTime doesn’t count.
Many nuances are involved in communication that are taken for granted in the technological age, losing the intimacy that humans crave in conversation.
You can’t read body language, which experts say is over half of the message you are relaying to the other person, and you can’t make eye contact.
Looking someone in the eye is a lost art for sure. And no matter how many emojis you use it does not do body language justice in a conversation.
Every piece of news concerning our day gets relayed with a cell phone call, text, or post.
Imagine if when your husband got a job promotion he got to run into the living room excited after work, picking you up, while making eye contact, sharing in the moment, rather than sharing celebratory emojis.
Kids have also grown accustomed to getting immediate answers for everything by calling a cell phone. They practice patience when they have to wait until everybody is home to make plans to visit with friends.
How many times do you search the internet on your phone every time you are wondering how to wear that new scarf you got, how to paint the cabinets, or how to correct back talking in the kids?
Without the answer to every question, you could possibly imagine at our fingertips you become resourceful, thinking outside the box.
You may have to rent a book or seek the counsel of trusted friends and family; who may honestly just use their phones to search for the answer, but hey, you tried.
Addiction to cell phones is a real problem these days, with people risking their lives to check a text message, and canceling dinner plans so they can have a date with Pinterest.
This type of relationship with cell phones puts the technology in charge of your time, and you can’t have that.
Being able to say no to your cell phone, puts you back in the driver seat of your schedule, letting others and yourself know that you have a life when you look up from that screen.
There is definitely a lot of controversy over the safety of cell phones. What can be said without a doubt is that cancer rates are on the rise, and the rise in cell phones is correlated, albeit perhaps not causative.
The National Institute of Cancer reports that “Cell phones emit radiofrequency radiation (radio waves), a form of non-ionizing radiation, from their antennas,” and that “Parts of the body nearest to the antenna can absorb this energy.”
What your body does with the energy being absorbed has been tested extensively with varying findings.
Exposure to ionizing radiation most definitely causes cancer in certain doses, which is found in x-ray machines.
According to the National Institute of Cancer, a study in Northern Europe showed an increase in acoustic neuroma, a kind of tumor, in those who have been using a cell phone for more than 10 years.
It is not uncommon for parents to give children cell phones, which means that as a young adult they would have had their cell phones for a decade at least.
The United States Department Of Transportation reported that in just one year, 3,450 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents from being distracted.
With over 481,000 people using their cell phones in the daytime while driving every day, according to the USDT, that is a lot of room for error. It only takes a second for a devastating crash to happen.
And, with over 400 million cell phone subscribers in the United States, according to the National Institute of Cancer, that is a lot of exposure to take your chances on.
There is no doubt that cell phones have a life-saving advantage for emergency personnel and those with a disability.
Before the invention of cell phones, there were competent people, there were successful people, and there were friends.
This isn’t to say that everyone needs to throw their cell phones in the trash (a landfill nightmare!), but just to consider the role a cell phone plays in your life, and if it’s a role you would be better off without.