Are Cell Phones Necessary?
Sifting through his latest screenplay on the way to class, Geoff Yetter ignores the muffled sound of a computer-generated rendition of Johan Pachelbel’s Canon in D coming from inside his book bag.
“Porcupined onions,” he curses to himself. “I’ll call them back when I’m free.”
Yetter, a senior film and video studies major at the University of Oklahoma, said that although he has a cell phone, it is only because he considers them to be a “necessary evil.”
“At the risk of coming off as one of those ‘hippie’ types, I truly see a cell phone as a leash that ties you to a world that man shouldn't belong to,” he said. “No matter how much one tries, you can ...view middle of the document...
“My family lives on the West Coast so it would be long distance on a regular phone so I (set up) a cell phone plan with nationwide minutes.”
Having a cell phone also makes more sense for her as a college student because with a landline she might have to set up a new number every time she moves in addition to it being obviously less portable, she said.
Many newer cell phone models are multimedia devices with “telephone” merely being one of the features. There are camera phones and various videogames and ring tones one can use on a cell. There is also the Nokia “N-Gage,” a gadget that is primarily a handheld videogame system that doubles as a cell phone and can be used to play multiplayer games across a cell network.
“I like having the games on my cell phone a lot because I commute too,” Baxter said, peering up from her match of cell phone Backgammon. “When I’m on the T it’s nice to have a mindless game to play.”
The radiation emitted from everyday cell phones in extended exposure has been proven to cause an increase in lymphocytes in mice through lab experiments, according to a study done in Radiation Research – a monthly journal published by the Radiation Research Society. Yet there is still no definitive answer on what the long-term health risks for humans may be.
“There have been several studies that examined this issue and reported that there was no significant difference in the incidence of brain tumors in cell phone users and non-users,” said Professor Robert Cersosimo of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. “However, there is more work to be done is this area and more studies are currently underway.”
While some students do consider these health risks and remain leery of them, others do not give them a second thought and spend literally thousands of minutes on their handheld phones every month.
“I sometimes worry about the risks of developing some kind of tumor from using my cell phone too much,” said Northeastern sophomore pharmacy major Jack Soohoo. “But it doesn’t stop me from using it.”
Soohoo estimates he uses his phone an average of 15 minutes each day – almost 500 minutes a month. That amount may be enough to do damage, but considering it as only a mere 15 minutes out of the day might be enough to create a false sense of security for users looking to rationalize the use of their phones in some way.
“I think the amount of time I spend using my cell phone is still insignificant and won’t be sufficient [enough] to cause cancer,” said Soohoo.
Baxter has similar feelings, saying she thinks “common sense says it has the probably could cause cancer, but everything does” and that she’s not overly worried about it.
For those who do worry about the risks of radiation waves being transmitted close to their heads, protection devices exist that are intended to cut down on this potentially harmful radiation.
The “No-Wave – Anti Wave Antenna” technology by RF Safe...