We all love our gadgets and gizmos but, increasingly, it seems that research is suggesting that the electronic devices we use everyday could actually be putting us at greater risk than we initially thought.
For example, the World Health Organisation has just placed mobile phones in the category ‘2B – possibly carcinogenic to humans’, which means that your beloved handset now sits alongside pickled vegetables, printer ink and coffee when it comes to possible threats to your wellbeing.
However, much of this is based around how much you use your phone. Certainly, the worrying headlines about contracting brain cancer might help to sell newspapers, but sensible use of a phone is, it seems, no riskier than enjoying your daily mug of caffeine. But that’s the thing with everything we do – moderation in all things as they say.
That’s not to say that technology does not have a debilitating effect on us, even if we’re using it in a sensible fashion. Let’s face it; we all spend hours in front of screens now, be they workstations, home computers, laptops, netbooks, tablets and smartphones – all are putting an increasing strain on our poor peepers.
A recent survey has suggested that British people now spend more time looking at screens than they do sleeping, and over sixty per cent admitted they get withdrawal symptoms if they’re separated from their devices for any period of time. An additional forty per cent said they looked at their mobile phone before doing anything else after waking up. A quarter said they did it within three minutes of rising from their slumber.
Today’s children spend around half as much time looking at screens as they do being taught in classrooms too, so the problem clearly starts early on. And, with so many irresistible gadgets around us, the temptation to stare at a screen all day is becoming ever stronger. The desirability to own the latest electronic devices is also magnetic, too although not everybody would be prepared to go to the lengths of one young man in China who recently hit the headlines.
He was so obsessed about the Apple iPad 2 tablet that, desperate to be able to buy one, he found a black market dealer in vital organs and reportedly sold one of his kidneys for thousands of dollars. So, while technology may be great in a lot of respects, there’s no doubt that in some cases, it’s delivering rather more than we bargained for.