1 October 2004

Cellphones are dangerous!

One from the archives:
Cellphones ARE dangerous, there can be no doubt. Just the other week I got my Nokia belt clip caught on my car's door frame as I got in and hurt my hip badly, dented the car and broke the clip off the back of the phone. A few weeks before, the phone fell out of the car and onto my big toe. Once I was carrying the wretched thing in my breast pocket when I ran into a barrier and bruised my ribs. On another occasion I had my hands-free unit in my ear when I knocked it and ripped it out of my ear cavity. Damned painful, I can tell you.

But it's not just physical damage which you have to watch out for. Frankly, I find it threatening to be rung up by people to whom I owe money.

Then there's driving. Of course it's dangerous using a cellphone in a car, especially if you have no hands-free unit. Even with the hands-free you still find yourself fishing around for it when the phone rings, or being distracted by arguments you may be having with those people mentioned above. And you still don't have enough hands to change gears, control the steering wheel, turn the pages of the newspaper and give the finger to other drivers.

Radiation? Well, that's the least of my worries. But if it worries you then do three things:
  1. Get a hands-free unit. I recommend one from your phone manufacturer, not a cheap clone. Or try the one of the funky Jabra headsets--mine has higher background noise than the Nokia original (which broke) but has great audio quality, is comfortable and looks cool.
  2. Don't panic! Bear in mind that we are surrounded by radiation from all sorts of things--microwaves, TVs, computer screens, lights, the sun, short-wave radios, and so on. Cellphone radiation is just a drop of water in an inescapable ocean. And 3/4 of illness is psychosomatic, so they say, so the worry is probably more dangerous than the radiation.
  3. Don't be too hip. If cellphones are dangerous, then wearing one clipped to your belt whilst in use is the worst thing you can do. At least your brain is protected by fluid and a hard case. Your internal organs have no such protection.
By all means take precautions, but don't be put off by ill-informed hype. And when a friend tells you he's been on the cellphone and has a headache from all the radiation, just suggest he doesn't press the phone so hard against his head the next time.

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