Cell Phone Misuse and Safety

Everyone has a Mobile phone. Due to its popularity, and convenience it became a part of our daily life and many are in a state of Tech-addiction. Mobile Phone is a Real Friend but ……. inconsiderate, annoying, discourteous in public places if it is misused. It is affecting our life in many ways due to its over use. Over use of Mobile phone creates health problems, social problems and even alters our behavior to a certain extent. See how an excellent electronic device is becoming a problem when it is misused.

Here are some Social Problems due to the Misuse of Mobile phone.
1. In attention blindness
2. Caller Hegemony
3. Cognitive load
4. Accidents
5. Cybercrime
Inattention blindness
Cell phone use in social situations may result in overloading – both physical and mental. Local interaction with the surroundings and remote interaction with the other person demands certain attention- E.g. When you talk in a bus stand or crossing the road. Cell phone use in public place makes the user blind to local cues due to cognitive overloading. E.g. when you use cell phone while walking through the road, you may not see a vehicle coming close to you.

Cell phone use in public places increase the reaction time to events around the user. E.g. You will not get time to move away from a danger. Reduced attention to local situation may disturb others since the user is not attending the social situation. E.g. Your conversation and body language may be annoying to others. Use of Mobile phones in gatherings, meetings, entertainment places etc disturb others through inattention blindness.
Caller Hegemony

Caller Hegemony is the asymmetric relationship between the caller and answerer.The alarming ring tone may demand higher attention to the phone rather than the local settings. If you use cell phones in busy areas, trains or buses, the sudden ring tone may alter your attention or the message from the caller may cause a disturbed feeling. This will leads to inattention blindness. This will not be the condition, if you use a land phone.

Cognitive load
Mobile phone use in public places makes the user overloaded and become unaware of the details of communicative behavior of co- located individuals as well as other relevant features of the social situation. It is advised that not use cell phones while driving a vehicle or operating a machinery or crossing the road.


Mobile phone use while driving may cause accidents due to inattention blindness and cognitive load. Cell phone conversation distracts the driver’s attention, increases reaction time, and reduce the visual field attention. Cognitive load rises above visual sensation and diverts attention. Memory of visual inputs and Response will drastically reduce if the cognitive load increases when using cell phone along with driving. The same negative effects may also happen if the driver uses a hands free phone. E.g. If the actual distance between two vehicles is 5 meters, due to cognitive load, the driver may feel that, it is 10 meters. This is the reason for majority of  accidents, if cell phone is used in driving .
Increase in Cybercrime
With the increased use of Camera phones and Multimedia facilities and Blue tooth technology, mobile phone related cyber crime incidents are increasing. Cybercrime includes traditional activities such as fraud, theft or forgery, whenever a telecommunication system is involved. The word Cyber is derived from the Greek word Kubernetes meaning Steersman .It is used in the terms cybersex, cybernetics, cyberspace, cyberpunk, cyber homes and cyber hate etc. It is used in the computer or electronic context to denote control of the thing represented by the word it precedes.

Psychological problems
Over use of Cell phones may cause two New generation Psychological problems.

No-Mo phobia (NoMobile phobia)
This is the Panic condition caused by the lose of cell phone contact in cell phone addicted individuals.No credit, flat battery, lose of phone or  no reception etc can bring a panic symptom referred to as NoMo Phobia or No Mobile phobia. To overcome NoMo phobia, two methods are suggested. One is to keep the battery in top condition and the credit sufficient. Another method is, deliberately avoid mobile phone for few hours and then few days. Then you will feel that it is not an important thing.

Ringxiety ( Ringtone anxiety)
This is an anxiety symptom related to the over use of mobile phone, a form of addiction. Ringxiety refers to the sensation and false belief that the mobile phone is ringing or vibrating. The term is also used to explain the condition in which a person frequently takes the cell phone to see whether there is any a mis call or messages. The person will always give a priority to cell phone than his personal activities.

Radiation Hazards
Mobile phone technology uses electromagnetic radiation in the Giga hertz range. These radiations are close to microwave range and with similar properties. Part of the radio wave emitted from the mobile phone is absorbed by the human head. The radiation emitted by a GSM handset can have a peak power of 2 watts.

The rate at which radiation is absorbed by the human body is measured in terms of  Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and its maximum levels for modern handset is set between 1.6 to 2 W/Kg averaged for 1 gram tissue. If the SAR level is above the limit, it may cause both Thermal and Non thermal effects in the body especially in the ear and head since these are at the “Near Field” of the radiation. Thermal effect of microwave is the dielectric heating in which any dielectric material such as living tissue is heated by the rotations of the polar molecules such as water.

In the case of a person using mobile handset for hours in a day, most of the heating effects  occur in the earpinna, internal ear, head surface and even in the brain. Internal ear has fluid filled structures which are more susceptible to the heating effect. Brain tissue is delicate which can be affected if the radiation exposure is severe.

Some of the brain waves that determine the mood and alertness resemble the mobile radiation in frequency. So that normal brain functions can be affected even in a few persons using mobile phones continuously. Another structure that can be affected by heating is the cornea of the eye. It is the transparent covering present on the front part of the eye. Cornea lacks blood supply, so that the heat generated there cannot be removed easily and it may cause premature cataract. Non thermal effects include alterations in bio-cycles, cellular metabolism, spermatogenesis, abnormalities in foetal developments, miscarriage etc. Some users of mobile phones feel several unspecific symptoms during and after the use of mobile phones in the form of burning and tingling sensations, fatigue, sleep disturbances, dizziness, loss of mental concentration etc. All these effects may be due to the influence of  radiation on the biomagnetic field of the body.

Microwave causes “dielectric heating” in the human body. Human tissue is rich in water and exhibit dielectric property (+ and – ve ions).Living tissue heat up through the rotation of polar molecules such as water. This friction causes heating of the affected tissue .Head is in the “near field “of radiation, so that most of the heating effect occurs in the head. Temperature in the internal ear, brain etc increases to 1 degree or more after 15 minutes use of mobile phone. This adversely affects the functioning of these organs since these have fluid filled cavities. In short Thermal effect causes
• Burning sensation in the Scalp and Ear pinna
• Mood alteration and lack of concentration
• Lethargy and lack of sleep
• Whistling sound in the ear
• Premature Cataract- Cornea of eye lacks blood supply and heat cannot be disposed
• Confusion and loss of memory since the microwaves interfere with the mood controlling brainwaves
• Alters sleep physiology and biological rhythm by changing the level of Dopamine, Serotonin hormones

Non Thermal Effects

• Increased cellular responses
• Leakage of Albumin from blood into the brain due to increased permeability of BBB
Hearing impairments
• Heating effect in the fluid of internal ear
• Piercing sound from the speaker causes irritability in the ear drum and internal sensory cells of ear
Human ear is highly sensitive to the waves between 1000 and 6000 Hz
Sleep and EEG Effects
• Brain waves such as alpha beta ,delta waves will be affected when exposed to pulsed radiations.
Microwave Auditory Effect
• Clicks and Buzzing sound in the head
• Microwave induces electric current in the hearing centre of the brain and causes Auditory illusion. This may happen if music is heard using ear phone or Bluetooth for long time.The human ear has a peak sensitivity of 3000 Hz, which causes a sense of unease. Alarms and Mobile ring tones are designed to sound at 3000 Hz.The ear has a very low threshold of hearing for 3000 Hz. A sound of this frequency is very penetrating.
Phantom Pain
Pain in the ear without any specific reasons like infection. This may be due to increased stress on the delicate structures of the internal ear or ear drum by the radiation.
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
Unspecific symptoms during and after the use of cell phone
Tingling sensation, fatigue, dizziness, loss of mental attention, reduction in reaction time, memory retentiveness, tachycardia etc.

Misuse of the Cell phone monitoring softwares

The cell phone monitoring softwares evolved as a necessity to locate the phone through the satellite network and also as a measure to monitor the online activities of children. Basically the spywares are Parental control softwares to protect children from online cheating. These spywares also help to watch the activities of suspected persons and to track the location of the phone in emergency situations if the user is unable to make a call. By using the Google Map tracking of the location is possible. Along with these positive aspects, misuse is also coming in to intrude into the privacy of people.
How the Cell phone becomes an open device?

The spywares available now have many features to hack the cell phone activities. Some of them are:
1. Live listening – The spyware programme enables the hacker to listen the live conversation between the caller and the answerer.
2. Text message retrieval– All the SMS received or Send from the spyware installed phone can be retrieved and recorded.
3. Video enabling– If the spyware is installed in the phone, the Images, video clippings etc stored in the phone can be viewed online.
4. Call logging– This feature of the spyware allows the hacker to check all the incoming and outgoing calls.
5. GPS tracking – This facility helps to track the location of the phone.
6. SMS Interceptor – This facility helps to read the SMS send or received at any time even if the message is deleted.
Spyware detection
 Don’t worry. There are ways to detect whether a spyware is present in our phone or not. We can also remove the software through a clean formatting. Here are some tricks.
1. Check the phone, if somebody borrowed your phone for making a call or to see the visuals. If there is any doubt, immediately format it. If a memory card is present. Format it also.
2. If your good battery drops considerably even after regular charging, there is a chance for a spyware. Some spywares continuously send the data from the phone which causes severe battery drain.
3. Observe the sound of speech. If there is tapping software, clicking sounds will appear between the talks.
4. If your cell phone hesitates to shut down lighting the backlight continuously, there is a possibility of a spyware.
5. Frequent lighting of the backlight without any phone activity may be due to a spyware.
6. If there is a background noise during speech or echo, there may be a spying.
Tips to keep the cell phone safe
1. If your cell phone has a web browser, install a good Firewall and Antivirus programme to prevent the access of spywares.
2. Don’t accept Bluetooth sharing or connection with unknown persons.
3. Clearly watch the behavior of cell phone after a Service.
4. As long as you are careful, there is nothing to worry about the spywares since even if infected ,a clean formatting will erase all the spywares and viruses from the phone.

Cell Phone Safety
As you know, Cell phone is a radiating device emanating high power electromagnetic radiation into the atmosphere. It requires very strong radiating power in the Giga hertz range to make continuous link with the far located towers. Knowingly or unknowingly, most people keep cell phones always close to their body even during sleeping. Even though the cell phone is inseparable from the modern living, we can reduce the harmful effects by following some safety measures.
1. Keep away the Cell phone from Kids. Children below 10 years are more susceptible to cell phone radiation. The cranial bones are not thick in children, so chance of penetration of radiation in to the brain in higher than in adults.
2. Don’t keep or use the Cell phone near the New born baby.
3. Always make short duration calls using the Cell phone. Switch on the cell phone only for making the call and switch off after the use. If you are a busy person waiting for many calls, keep the cell phone on the table or use a Bluetooth device.
4. Always use Land phone or wired phones for longer conversations.
5. Don’t always keep the Cell phone close to the body. Use a Pouch or Bag to keep the cell phone.
6. After making a dial, wait for few seconds till the remote person attend the phone. During dialing and ringing, level of radiation is very high. During conversation, move the phone away from the ear occasionally to spread the radiation.
7. If possible, use the Cell phone in Speaker mode.
8. Try Text messaging instead of Call making. Keep away the Cell phone after sending the Message.
9. Avoid the effects of Passive Radiation by moving away from people using the Cell phone.
10. Avoid using the Cell phone in moving vehicles like Car, Train, and Buses etc since the Cell phone emits double amount of radiation to keep link with the strongest tower.
11. Activate the Miscall alert, Voice mail service etc so that, these can be checked occasionally. Answer all and switch off immediately.
12. Don’t keep the Cell phone on the bed during sleep. It will significantly affect the sleep cycle.
13. Don’t use Cell phone during or just after charging. Radiation level is very high if the battery is full or charging.
14. Before making a call, check the range indicator in the Cell phone. If it is poor, wait until it reaches full range. Radiation is very high in low range condition since the cell phone is trying the make link with a tower having strong signals.
15. If you want to keep the Cell phone in your pocket, keep the key pad side facing the chest.
16. Don’t use the Cell phone in tightly closed rooms especially those containing metal walls. Radiation will reflect back and hit your body.
17. Don’t keep the Cell phone near or on the Electronic Medical equipments or other sensitive devices.Radiation can make them Erratic.
18. Don’t use Cell phone in Petrol outlets or near LPG cylinder. The Static electricity in the atmosphere may explode by the Cell phone radiation and may cause fire.
19. Smartphone emits large quantity of radiation since it is performing multifunction like a computer. Don’t keep it close to the body for long time.
20. Like Cell phones, Laptops also generate very high radiations. So don’t keep it on your Lap. Laptop is not good for the Lap. Around 70 degree heat is expelled by the fan present on the  bottom side of  the laptop. This is sufficient to  heat up your lower abdomen.
21. Always keep a Safety distance from Electronic devices that emitting radiations. As a rule, the safety distance is 3 feet for computer and 6 feet for TV .

Some Cellphone thoughts……

If the Cellphone has Mind and thoughts, it will ask you many questions….

1. Why you are using me when you are on wheels?

2. Why you are unnecessarily puncturing my keypad? It is painful.

3. Why you are keeping me on your bed. I don’t like to sleep with you.

4. Why you are forcing me to talk unnecessarily in the morning hours when the people are busy in home or road?

5. Why you are forcing me to snap without others permission?I will also be trapped.

6. Why you are forcing me to play music continuously. My sound is piercing and your ear will be strained.I am tired and my job is contacting only.

7. Why you are compelling me to send Miscalls. Value of  money is same for all.

These points were collected from various sources.Readers can contribute much in this topic. If you have any unusual experience or incidents due to cell phone misuse, please write the matter in the Leave a Reply Space and Post comment.

5 responses to “Cell Phone Misuse and Safety

  1. There are consequences on almost everything and having a mobile phone is of no exemption. Bottomline, put this into good use. Use only when needed, avoid too much playing games to avoid draining the battery so that when needed, it’ll always be of good service to you.

  2. This is a real problem facing…. See this mail from Kolkata.

    Dear Sir,
    I have a big problem with cell tower radiation in my house. Actually where I am living is a pollution
    free area, it is a village with full of peace, but recently aircel installed a cell phone tower near my
    house approx 50 feet away ,height of the tower is near about 60 feet.
    All Room of my house are faced to the tower directly, we, villagers protest against that, but we are
    unable to stop them. This tower getting power from DG & inverter as there is no high tension
    line.DG is creating humming noise about 16 hours a day but the main matter is we are feeling
    burning sensation in our body, headache from last one & half year, firstly we are unable to detect
    what is the cause, but now we can feel that the micro wave radiation is causing this.
    Now my request to you sir, please give me some solution about how can i shield my house from
    micro wave radiation, as we are unable to move another place because it is a big economical issue
    for us. Please design something as Shielding antenna, Or microwave absorber etc by which we can
    shield our house from bad effect of radiation.
    I am a hobbiest & a regular reader of EFY & also this site, my kind request to you sir please design
    some cheep electronics circuit to measure micro wave radiation level in room, and the measurement
    procedure by which we can monitor it at our house.
    I am waiting for your kind suggestion.

    Thanks & Regards
    Bikash Bhattacharjee
    Kolkata – 700128