Nomophobia and health risks

0
102

This term might have been familiar to many people but this is the first time for me to encounter this. It means “no-mobile-phone phobia”. For working people like us, it is impossible to go through the day without a mobile phone. We are certainly addicted to these and other mobile devices and may not even be aware that there already is such a thing as going without your mobile phone or gadget, or that the battery went dead and there is no network signal.

Even in my bedroom I have several phones and two tablets with me, not counting the laptop. And I charge all my gadgets when I sleep. Imagine all the radiation in the room with all these gadgets charging simultaneously. If the health risk is true then I expose myself to great risk.

In an article in Sydney Morning Herald dated January 15, by Sarah Russell, she cited studies funded by tobacco companies proving that cigarettes are not that harmful to one’s  health. But look at the smokers several years hence—lung cancer has caught up with them. The statistics show significant corelation of smoking to lung cancer.

In 2016 the World Health Organization announced the potential health risks posed not only by mobile devices but all electronic devices. But mobile devices and other electronic gadgets create more health risks since we have them with us 24/7. Although studies funded by telecommunications companies says otherwise, it is better to stay prudent.

When sleeping, devices should be at least 3 feet away if you cannot have them outside and turn off the Wi-fi because even without the Wi-fi  the gadgets are communicating with the base stations through radio. The phones constantly radiate electromagnetic waves even when they are not being used. Wi-fi connections are also more dangerous than radio waves. Turn off your Wi-fi if you are not using it, especially in the bedroom (source: steptohealth.com). Whether true or not, heeding to this warning might save your health and the only loss you may have is having no Wi-fi and the chance frequently to check on your social-media feeds.

Thus, it is important that studies on health risks posed by mobile devices should not be funded by telecommunications companies. For those experiencing nomophobias, problematic behaviors are observed similar to substance abuse or pathological gambling. If you panic when you left your phone at home and cannot resist checking on your social media or e-mails even when in the middle of rush work, or meeting a deadline, or when driving or in the middle of a conversation, you may have nomophobia. It is funny but when I am stressed or feeling toxic, looking at my Facebook or Viber seems therapeutic for me.

I am surely wired to my mobile devices it is time to have partial mobile detoxification. That means I will still use them but no longer near the bed with the Wi-fi on at bedtime, limit checking on social-media feeds and turn off all other mobile gadgets with only the phone left when sleeping.

At the office or outside of our homes, we already have enough toxins—we have gone toxic from the heavy workload and other stress-inducing events, such as traffic, pollution, etc. Let us clear our homes of toxins by limiting our use of mobile phones, especially as we go to bed. We need all the energy for the day after. Make mobile phones a boon rather than a bane for a truly productive and meaningful life. Place them all under your control or these devices will control you.

****

Wilma Miranda is the managing partner of Inventor, Miranda & Associates, CPAs, and treasurer of KPS Outsourcing Inc. The opinions expressed herein are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of these institutions.