5 valid reasons to stop using cell phones
Some don't want to be constantly accessible
David G. Mitchell knows he's not preaching to the choir when he strongly recommends that most people stop using cell phones. He observes that "I will not use a cell phone and you probably cannot be separated from yours."
Health is one of his concerns.
Research hasn't confirmed a direct link between long-term cell phone use and cancer, possibly because cell phones have been widely used for a relatively short time. But some studies suggest a connection. As a result, the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute cautioned employees to limit their use.
Among the things we do know for sure:
Chatting on the phone while driving contributes to vehicle crashes. That's why some states have wised up and banned use of handheld phones behind the wheel.
Cell phones have opportunity costs because they distract you from the task at hand, whether you're meeting a client or, we'll add, out on a date. David writes, "Unless you are a doctor waiting to perform crucial surgery or you have some significant role in national security, chances are you are just not important enough to need to be available all the time."
(He also says, "If you cannot go to a grocery store and decide what to buy when you get to the produce aisle, you should not be grocery shopping.")
Cell phone accessories are expensive, not to mention the cost of texting, Internet access, etc.
We don't need to be constantly accessible. We got along pretty well when all we had were land lines.
An exception, he says, is having a prepaid cell phone in case of true emergencies -- when you're driving in the middle of nowhere or your teens are out and about at night.
"Give up the cell phone and put that money back in your pocket and you will really find that no one had anything to say to you anyway," he writes.
Published Nov. 4, 2008
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