Over a year ago, back in February 2019, I quit my mobile phone.
I gave it up for good.
Looking back now, I have to say that it was one of the best decisions of my life.
While many of us recognise that our current use of phones causes some issues, I found that we are not aware just how serious and significant these issues are until we spend some time away from them.
In this article, I am going to share three lessons that I have learnt in the last 16 months and what steps you can take today to improve your life and health.
Lesson #1 – We are way more addicted to our phones than we realise.
Let’s try an experiment.
Put your phone down and don’t look at it or touch it for the next hour. How long did you last?
When I’ve tried this with others, they often don’t even realise that they’ve checked their phone. Checking for notifications has become such a habit that we sometimes find ourselves picking up and checking our phone just to get that endorphin hit, without even expecting or caring much whether or not we have a new message.
Before I quit my phone completely, I had a forced ten day period away from it when I undertook a ten day silent meditation retreat. When the time came to get my belongings again, and the thought came to check my phone, I felt a massive physical reaction all over my body. It struck me as exactly what a recovering alcoholic or other addict would feel when confronted with their old vice.
The result of this addiction is a massively reduced attention span and an inability to focus. This in turn (along with the disruption to our brainwaves) leads to a reduction in the quality of our work, anxiety, stress and even being able to put thoughts together in a coherent way.
Lesson #2 – The world will not end if you give up your phone.
When I first announced my plan to give up my phone permanently, I had pushback from friends and family. They worried about how they would contact me and stay in touch.
The reality is, we have lived without these devices for thousands of years.
These days, I use my landline phone for important calls combined with email or online calling (Zoom/Skype). There is also software available to install apps like WhatsApp on your desktop.
While there was of course a period of adaption, I have experience no real issues in contacting or staying in contact with those I care about. The only people I lost touch with were those where neither of us cared enough about our relationship to make any effort. I would argue that this is actually a positive result…
Lesson #3 – Mobile phones are in fact causing us serious physical harm
We are told that mobile usage is more or less harmless. They are convenient and harmless, so why would we stop?
It was only when I discovered that this is not true that I took action.
There is no shortage of scientific research on the safety of mobile usage. However, it is important to critically examine these studies. As a scientist and engineer with two masters degrees, I have some experience in research. If a study claims to prove something, it is critical that we look at what assumptions it took because these will dictate what it is actually testing for.
The standard international test for mobile phone safety is to study the heating effect of the radiation. The assumption here they are taking is the heating effect is the only potential cause of harm. This assumption is majorly flawed and fundamentally incorrect.1
On the other hand, there are countless studies that demonstrate the serious and often irreversible harmful effects of electromagnetic frequencies on the human body.2
Just to give a few examples, the non-ionising radiation emitted by mobile phones has been demonstrated to cause DNA damage, disruption of the blood brain barrier (which allows to metals leaking into the brain, causing brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia), reduced fertility, hormonal disruption (which leads to a host of other health problems), sleep issues, as well as various types of cancer and learning disabilities.1,2,3
What can we do?
While giving up the phone completely could be difficult for many, I suggest you try a period of detox where you limit or stop using the phone for a period of time. Observe the effects that you experience and decide for yourself if you then want to limit usage further.
Other steps you can take include leaving it on airplane mode when it is not in use4, taking calls on speaker mode (increasing the distance between the device and your brain) and/or using air tube headphones, which utilise a tube of air to transmit the sound to your ears, increasing the distance between the radiation emitting phone and speakers.5
One of the main reasons I set up A Question of Timing was to share my knowledge of cycles and the application of these cycles to improve our lives. There are times where certain actions will have a greater chance of success than others. This can also be applied to quitting bad habits – acting or starting a detox at certain times are going to give you a higher chance of achieving success and lasting changes.
In simple terms, it would be advantageous to initiate the quitting of a habit, such as starting a phone detox, at a time when the Moon is waning. That is, the two week period between the full and new moons. More information on this as well as an explanation of the reasons can be found in this article.
1- For a detailed explanation of the mechanisms of harm and more information on the issues with phones and EMF, see Not Dark Yet by Marius D’Alexandre.
3- Also note that the usage of mobile phones will put holes into your energetic field, opening your consciousness to be manipulated by those who do not have your best interests at heart…
4- It is vital to have the phone on airplane mode or outside of your bedroom when sleeping as the body uses this time to repair and recover.
5- Note that Bluetooth or wired headphones will cause great harm as the ear bud acts as an antennae to channel the radiation even closer to your brain. Counter intuitively, holding the phone close to your head would actually be less harmful.