AHHH! Everything comes with a cancer warning these days. Give me 30 seconds and a computer and I can google the harmful effects of anything from bananas to uranium. (I would say that Googling is harmful for your health, but that's a discussion for another time.) I'm not into spending a lot of mind space incorporating hippy science into how I view the world but it does pay to be a well-informed consumer. Back in 2011 (and possibly before), the World Health Organization (WHO), labeled cell phones as possibly carcinogenic. You probably heard this news or a rumor of this type of news and waved it away. I remember hearing about it in 2008 but sort of ignoring it. We've been told so many things cause cancer and with cancer having such broad causes, to narrow it down to cell phones usage seemed like a wild accusation. However, If you read the fine print on your smart phone instructions booklet (at least on the Galaxy S5 user manual), it instructs the user to position the phone a certain distance away from the body during use, in order "to meet RF exposure guidelines" (showthefineprint.org, July 2016). RF means radio frequency.
So how do we take this information and still manage our cell phone use? According to showthefineprint.org, the user manuals of cellular phone companies actually recommend wearing a headset while conducting calls in order to decrease RF exposure. That doesn't seem to difficult. If you google, you'll find all sorts of sites relating the dangers of cellphone/WiFi usage and cancer. But as I said before, I don't recommend googling. Even sitting in front of my computer right now, I'm aware that if it weren't for a solid piece of lead I'd be awash in radiation. Actually, that is not a google-found fact. I actually learned that on NPR.
So what to do? Firstly, take a deep breath and remember that Hashem runs the world. Then, lets do some hishtadlut (effort). What are the actions that we need to take given that we have this knowledge and the world is run according to nature? Here's how I manage RF, microwaves, and WIFI. (Wifi and microwaves run on the same frequency.)
1. Unplug your WIFI whenever you are not using it. You can even buy a plug that has an on off switch so you don't have to remove the plug each time. This plug/adaptor thingy (I'm not so electronically saavy) can be purchased at any home supply store. There are a number of these stores throughout Talpiot, one on Emek Rafaim, and there is also one on Yoel Solomon Street in town. Another great idea, and even easier to do, is to set up your Wifi to an electrical timer.
2. Do not sleep with your phone charging in your room. Not just so you don't interfere with your cell reproduction, but also so you sleep more soundly. We charge ours in the kitchen AND we turn them off. Take that evil rays!
3. Limit your cell phone usage and cordless phone usage. Have your home phone be an old fashioned, plug it into the wall, landline. I favor a hamburger shaped phone that you can buy at Happenings (overpriced) or at Amazon. You can even get a matching french fries phone:) Limit your cell phone usage by, SHOCK, getting an old fashioned Nokia, super simple phone with plain ol' texting. I recently purchased a 30nis sim convertor, (findable at any phone that cells cell phone accesories, mine was purchased at Malcha, but there is also many in town and one at Mamilla), so that I could do just that. I think the benefits are numerous. Since I don't need phone internet access for work, now I get to escape WhatsApp (too much information, too much banter, the people I want to talk to can text/call/email/visit me), I'll spend less time checking ArutzSheva.com, and my kids won't ask me for my phone ("I just wanna take a picture"). The psychological benefits from smartphone detoxing are something I really appreciate. I do it for at least one month a year and it feels great. More on that later!
4. When you do use your WiFi, open the windows and let in some fresh air. Best not to be stuck indoors with all those waves.
5. Ditch your microwave. Forever. Are people still using microwaves? So passe. Warm your food up in a convection oven, a regular oven, or a small pot on the stove top. I haven't had a microwave for the last 13 years and haven't noticed the difference. Aside from better tasting food, healthier food, (more on that later...my "later list" is growing!), you'll be limiting the electromagnetic frequency in your home. Yes, you'll have a few extra pots to wash but the long term benefits are worth it. And it's great for your kids to learn that food doesn't get prepared in 45 seconds or less.
So does all this homework feel doable? I hope so. Send me your feedback. I'm going to detox from this writing session and then I'm gonna change my WhatsApp status to "Call me on my hamburger." (My non-cordless phone looks like a hamburger. Woo hoo for 80'2 kitch!)