Years ago, I struggled with the idea of canceling my land-line phone and relying solely on my cell phone. The main reason for doing so was cost savings. The land-line phone was costing me somewhere around $40 a month after taxes and all the options. I didn’t see any reason to keep paying for it when my cell phone offered far more features and it was mobile. After much debate, I ended up going through with it, but years later I found myself in the same debate ultimately deciding to once again startup my land-line phone.
You are probably wondering why? My answers may seem silly to some.
First of all, I was getting too many text messages, whether it be from friends, family, solicitation offers or the stupid government weather alerts! It was like having someone in the room always wanting to start up a conversation when I was watching a movie, enjoying time with the kids, eating dinner, working on a project or trying to go to sleep. It was incredibly distracting and soon become annoying. Yes, I could have simply turned off the phone, enabled blocking mode or turned down the sound — and I did this — but I would inevitably forget to turn it back on again and miss an important call. I don’t know how you feel about this, but find it rude when people come over to hang out, then spend all their time texting with other people. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my kids when we were supposed to be playing games, drawing, or watching a movie. VIP or Blocking mode to only allow certain numbers through wouldn’t work all to well due to the nature of my work (the phone number of who’s trying to get a hold of me could be anything).
Second, I was just spending way too much time on it while at home. There’s always a game to play, news to read, people to text with, something to watch, a reason to surf the Internet, a reason to check Facebook every 2 minutes, something new to download every waking second of my life. It’s like a drug. It’s odd, but once you cut the tie with your phone for awhile, you realize how much of your life is wasted looking at it. And I truly do mean wasted. It’s kind of ridiculous, actually.
Third, and call me crazy, but I still don’t think it’s healthy to have a cell phone, WiFi and Bluetooth transceiver parked inches away from my head for 8 or more hours a night. For years, I’ve slept with the phone on my nightstand just a foot or smidgen more away from my brain. No, it’s not subliminally broadcasting advertisements into my mind while I sleep, but it is bombarding it with non-ionizing radio waves of various frequencies, which do in fact get absorbed by human tissue.
A recent study showed after 50 minutes of use, brain tissues on the same side of the head as the phone’s antenna metabolized more glucose than did tissues on the opposite side of the brain (source: Discovery). Another study found that sperm is heated when a cell phone is in a man’s pocket (source: The Telegraph). What does this imply? I dunno, but it does show a cause and effect association.
A cell tower can be miles away, obstructed by walls, trees, buildings, and any number of other objects. For this reason, they need to pump out quite a bit of power to communicate. Most cell phones transmit using around 1 watt of power. Did you know the concept behind a microwave oven was discovered in 1945 by Percy Spencer when he accidentally melted a candy bar in his pocket while working on an active radar system? Modern day microwaves operate at 2.45 Ghz and 915 Mhz. 4G cell phones operate between 2,496 Ghz and 2,690 Ghz. GSM, or 3G operates between 869 Mhz and 894 Mhz. (source: Wikipedia) As you can see, microwave ovens that are used to cook food and heat water operate at a frequency that is pretty darn close to that of a cell phone.
Nonetheless, throughout the modern era, how many times have we heard something is safe, only to find out later it wasn’t safe at all (e.g. popcorn ceilings, saccharin, lead paint, some plastics (BPD), certain pesticides that used to be sprayed on our crops, etc)? Could cell phones be one of those instances?
Lastly, and again call me crazy, but I really don’t like the prospect that someone (namely the government or some other entity) could be listening and watching everything I do and say. Especially now since we know it’s happening. The FBI and many other government agencies have admitted to setting up “Stingray” towers, which intercept all cell signals for tracking purposes before they get passed onto the real towers. They are also recording every phone, text message and email and admit to storing the information in a massive data collection facility in Utah. We also know the big tech and telecommunication companies are in bed with the government, passing on tons of information (even when they are not forced to). And why does an app ask me if it’s OK to access my camera when being installed, if it doesn’t need it? It’s just creepy, that’s all. No, I’m not breaking the law, nor do I have anything to hide (except me in my boxer shorts). But when I look at my phone, I envision a portal to which my bedroom secrets are being sucked up into without my control, video and audio recordings of me playing Hay Day while sitting on the toilet, getting ready to hop in the shower, or just hanging around the house.
While 911 is obviously important, it didn’t influence my decision to get a land-line. I’m pretty sure they and every other government agency out there knows my location better than I do. Not to mention, I can run with my cell phone in my hand if need be! Not so with my corded land-line.
No, I haven’t given up my cell phone and probably won’t for awhile (it’s tempting), but I have cut back on my usage considerably while at home, and one of the first steps was to get my land-line phone back. That way I can physically turn off my phone while at home, especially at night, set it on the counter downstairs next to my keys, but still receive important phone calls in the middle of the night from work, family or friends on the land-line. When I wake up, I can power the cell phone back on and take it with me once I leave the house for work or fun stuff.