10 Reasons to Turn Off Your Cell Phone

If you have a smartphone, you know how useful – and distracting – it can be. While it’s great to be able to check in with your family, how many Instagrams of everyone’s brunches do you really need to see? We all recognize that we’re overly dependent on our phones, and yet we rarely shut them off due to a fear of missing out. But keeping your cell phone on constantly is bad for your health and sanity, so we’ve got 10 reasons you should turn it off.

1. It’s stress-relieving. 

A Kent State University study showed that higher cell phone usage correlates to lower GPAs and higher anxiety levels. If your phone is distracting you from educational or professional duties, leave it at home for the day. Not possible? Hiding it in a desk drawer during meetings works too.

2. It could save your life.

While we don’t know if cell phones cause cancer, they do carry health risks that most people are unaware of.  Some doctors suggest that keeping your cell phone near your chest raises the risk of breast cancer, and other concerns abound regarding the small amounts of radiation they emit. There are also tenuous links between cell phone use and gliomas, a kind of brain tumor. Even cell phone manufacturers recommend keeping your phone between 0.5 in and 1 in at all times. For safe usage, carry your phone off your person, especially in the case of pregnancy or young children, and use a speaker or wireless handset for calls.

3. It’s too cold out.

You might hate cold weather, but your smartphone hates it even more. The lithium-ion battery’s effectiveness is reduced in colder temperatures, and your glass screen is more susceptible to nicks and cracks. It’s nothing a return to room temperature won’t fix, but most manufactures don’t recommend operating below -4° F. The iPhone 5S’ lowest suggested operating temperature is 32° F. So if you’re caught up in the polar vortex, consider turning your phone off outside.

4. You’re damaging your cell phone.

When was the last time you turned off your phone? If you use it as an alarm clock, you might not remember. But constantly keeping your phone on can damage your phone’s battery life. If you can’t figure out why your phone’s not working, be sure to turn it off once a week.

5. You’re forgetting your real-life relationships.

In a Forbes survey, 3 out of 5 people admitted they spend more time on their computer than with their significant others. Do you really need to be on your phone while with them, too? If you haven’t turned off your phone on a date since the first one, go electronics-free for a night. Your romance will thank you.

6. It’s depressing you.

In that same Forbes study, 61% of respondents reported feeling jealous, depressed or annoyed after checking their smartphone updates – but most interrupted all sorts of engagements to check. Turning off your phone weans your dependence on the rush of constant communication. If this is too much but you’re driving your dinner companions crazy, try this game: everyone at the table places their phones in the center of the table. Whoever picks up their phone first picks up the tab, too.

7. You’re bothering others.

In a 2009 study, 97% of college students thought it was rude to take a call in a movie theater, but 24% of them did it anyway. Even if you’re not speaking, the bright light of your cell phone screen as you text or tweet distracts other moviegoers. When movie theaters don’t enforce their cell phone policies, other viewers do – sometimes to deadly effect. In January, a Florida man was shot to death over a dispute regarding cell phone usage in a movie theater. On a far lighter note, a man once called 911 to complain about someone using a cell phone in a theater. Save yourself the trouble, and just turn your phone off at the multiplex. The world can live without you for 2 hours.

9. You’re being watched.

Several months ago, Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency was collecting telephony metadata on millions of Americans –  who you were calling, for how long, and from where. Even some apps like Angry Birds are used to collect user data. You might be concerned with your privacy, but unless you’re on the waiting list for a NSA-proof phone, there’s not much you can do except turn your phone off.

9. You need a landline.

Many people refuse to turn off their cell phones at home due to concerns about being unreachable in an emergency. But a cell phone isn’t as effective as a landline in pinpointing your location based on a 911 call. In addition, as long as you have a backup battery, you’ll have about 8 hours of standby service from a landline when the power goes out and your cell phone doesn’t work. If you have cable and internet, you’re probably already paying for a landline anyway – so why not use it?

10. You need to stop.

If you’ve read this post without turning off your phone, you just might be addicted to it. Signs of cell phone addiction include considering your phone part of you, an inability to wait to check your phone, experiencing distress when you don’t receive alerts and more. Tonight, put your cell phone in a drawer for just half an hour as you have dinner. See how it feels to concentrate on the world around you, instead of the virtual world in your pocket.

Were these tips helpful? When was the last time you turned your cell phone off? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: Hello Turkey Toe via Compfight cc

Written by Sasha Graffagna

If you have a smartphone, you know how useful – and distracting – it can be. While it’s great to be able to check in with your family, how many Instagrams of everyone’s brunches do you really need to see? We all recognize that we’re overly dependent on our phones, and yet we rarely shut them off due to a fear of missing out. But keeping your cell phone on constantly is bad for your health and sanity, so we’ve got 10 reasons you should turn it off.

1. It’s stress-relieving. 

A Kent State University study showed that higher cell phone usage correlates to lower GPAs and higher anxiety levels. If your phone is distracting you from educational or professional duties, leave it at home for the day. Not possible? Hiding it in a desk drawer during meetings works too.

2. It could save your life.

While we don’t know if cell phones cause cancer, they do carry health risks that most people are unaware of.  Some doctors suggest that keeping your cell phone near your chest raises the risk of breast cancer, and other concerns abound regarding the small amounts of radiation they emit. There are also tenuous links between cell phone use and gliomas, a kind of brain tumor. Even cell phone manufacturers recommend keeping your phone between 0.5 in and 1 in at all times. For safe usage, carry your phone off your person, especially in the case of pregnancy or young children, and use a speaker or wireless handset for calls.

3. It’s too cold out.

You might hate cold weather, but your smartphone hates it even more. The lithium-ion battery’s effectiveness is reduced in colder temperatures, and your glass screen is more susceptible to nicks and cracks. It’s nothing a return to room temperature won’t fix, but most manufactures don’t recommend operating below -4° F. The iPhone 5S’ lowest suggested operating temperature is 32° F. So if you’re caught up in the polar vortex, consider turning your phone off outside.

4. You’re damaging your cell phone.

When was the last time you turned off your phone? If you use it as an alarm clock, you might not remember. But constantly keeping your phone on can damage your phone’s battery life. If you can’t figure out why your phone’s not working, be sure to turn it off once a week.

5. You’re forgetting your real-life relationships.

In a Forbes survey, 3 out of 5 people admitted they spend more time on their computer than with their significant others. Do you really need to be on your phone while with them, too? If you haven’t turned off your phone on a date since the first one, go electronics-free for a night. Your romance will thank you.

6. It’s depressing you.

In that same Forbes study, 61% of respondents reported feeling jealous, depressed or annoyed after checking their smartphone updates – but most interrupted all sorts of engagements to check. Turning off your phone weans your dependence on the rush of constant communication. If this is too much but you’re driving your dinner companions crazy, try this game: everyone at the table places their phones in the center of the table. Whoever picks up their phone first picks up the tab, too.

7. You’re bothering others.

In a 2009 study, 97% of college students thought it was rude to take a call in a movie theater, but 24% of them did it anyway. Even if you’re not speaking, the bright light of your cell phone screen as you text or tweet distracts other moviegoers. When movie theaters don’t enforce their cell phone policies, other viewers do – sometimes to deadly effect. In January, a Florida man was shot to death over a dispute regarding cell phone usage in a movie theater. On a far lighter note, a man once called 911 to complain about someone using a cell phone in a theater. Save yourself the trouble, and just turn your phone off at the multiplex. The world can live without you for 2 hours.

9. You’re being watched.

Several months ago, Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency was collecting telephony metadata on millions of Americans –  who you were calling, for how long, and from where. Even some apps like Angry Birds are used to collect user data. You might be concerned with your privacy, but unless you’re on the waiting list for a NSA-proof phone, there’s not much you can do except turn your phone off.

9. You need a landline.

Many people refuse to turn off their cell phones at home due to concerns about being unreachable in an emergency. But a cell phone isn’t as effective as a landline in pinpointing your location based on a 911 call. In addition, as long as you have a backup battery, you’ll have about 8 hours of standby service from a landline when the power goes out and your cell phone doesn’t work. If you have cable and internet, you’re probably already paying for a landline anyway – so why not use it?

10. You need to stop.

If you’ve read this post without turning off your phone, you just might be addicted to it. Signs of cell phone addiction include considering your phone part of you, an inability to wait to check your phone, experiencing distress when you don’t receive alerts and more. Tonight, put your cell phone in a drawer for just half an hour as you have dinner. See how it feels to concentrate on the world around you, instead of the virtual world in your pocket.

Were these tips helpful? When was the last time you turned your cell phone off? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: Hello Turkey Toe via Compfight cc

Written by Sasha Graffagna

  • Comments

Comments

  1. Hi. I haven’t turned my cellphone off since I bought it 🙂 I’ll try to do it tonight, as well as to keep it away from me the most.