Cellphones and Human Brain – Are Cellphones a Slow Poison to Our Brains?

Cellphones and Human Brain

Last Updated November 2nd, 2022

Research study results are still inconclusive and do not yet show a clear relation between cellphones and brain cancer.
Yes. Overuse of cellphones can cause headaches in adults and children.
Overuse of cellphones can strain the eyes and cause irritation, blurry vision, throbbing pain, or headaches around the eyes, etc.


Cellphones have become the part and parcel of our daily lives. Though there is an ongoing debate as to how mobile phones especially smartphones have made our lives easier, we cannot deny the fact that they can have some adverse effects on our health.

There were days when we would post letters or travel miles to communicate with our friends or meet our distant relatives. The invention of mobile phones has made communication fast with just the dial of a number and we can talk to our loved ones within seconds.

The advent of smartphones over the past few years has revolutionized cellphones. We can now do almost everything on our phones from sending emails, paying bills, booking tickets, sending money, paying for food in restaurants, mobile banking, and many more.

When we walk into a public place like hospitals, banks, parks, shopping malls, or restaurants we could see almost 50% of the people are on their mobile phones either talking to someone or carrying out some important business. Such is the importance of cellphones in our lives. Even in the remotest of villages, you will find that every household has at least one cellphone. Such is the popularity and the need for cellphones in the present time.

Mobile phones have become an inextricable part of our daily lives and it is almost impossible to live without them. But cellphones can be highly addictive especially among the younger generation and teenagers and impose some serious health concerns which should not be taken lightly.

How do we expose ourselves to cellphones?

Cellphones and harmful radiowavesCellphones send RF or radiofrequency waves. They emit magnetic waves very similar to microwaves or FM radio waves. The cellphone waves are different from ionizing waves like gamma rays or ultraviolet rays and do not directly cause harm to the body cells or DNA. However, overexposure may cause harmful effects on the body, raise body temperature, or even cause diseases like cancer. Our body parts like our ears which are closer to the cellphone get the maximum exposure to the RF waves.

Here are a few ways through which you can expose yourselves to cellphones:

  • The time that you spend on your cellphone defines how you expose yourself. Many people are continuously chatting with friends or prospective business clients on phones. They get maximum exposure.
  • People who use speakers or hands-free devices get less exposure as they are not directly in contact with the phone.
  • Your distance from the cellphone tower determines the amount of energy the phone uses to get the required signal. The farther you are away from the tower, the more energy your cellphone will use to get the desired signal and hence more exposure.
  • The absorption rate of RF waves into human bodies depends on the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR rate. The SAR rate varies with the model of cellphone you are using. So, before buying a cellphone look for low SAR rates. However, the rates can be misleading as it depends on several other factors.
  • High traffic or busy areas require more cellphone energy.
  • Good brands of cellphone devices come with device protections.

Cellphones Effect on Human Brain

Cellphones and Human BrainCellphone Radiation

 The World Health Organization or WHO has given a new name to cellphones – “Possible human carcinogen”. Scientific research has proved that exposure to prolonged RF radiation can cause cancer in rodents.

Cellphones are in constant touch with cellphone towers. If you keep your cellphones near your head or body you are exposing yourself to that radiation. Our body absorbs the RF energy that is being discharged by cellphones. To cater to the needs of the increasing demand for cellphones, there has been a rise in new cellphone towers. When we are in long calls or using phones for prolonged times, we are exposing our ears and hands to the radiation energy. The RF energy increases our basal metabolic temperature which can be harmful to our bodies.

Recent studies have revealed that there is a relationship between the growth of carcinogenic cells and cellphone radiation. Long-term use of cellphones increases the risk of carcinogenic tumors both benign and malignant such as:

Extensive research data and analysis have shown clear evidence where there has been an increase in carcinogenic tumors due to the dramatic increase in the use of cellphones over recent years.

Though the relationship between cellphones and cancer is unclear, studies reveal that RF waves may be responsible for inducing cancer cell growth. However, there has been no direct link between DNA damage and cellphone radiation.

Cognitive Imbalance

Long-term use of mobile phones especially smartphones can develop cognitive difficulties, especially in young children and teenagers.

Unregulated use of cellphones can show signs of addiction in young people. This may lead to a lack of concentration, the ability to think properly, attention deficit, memory loss, etc. Smartphones provide instant gratification in the form of message replies and emoticons. They give you instant access to social media networks like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. It becomes impossible to resist the eagerness to wait for replies and notifications. This can disrupt your attention and keep you away from other important things in your life.

Cellphone addiction prevents us from understanding and appreciating real-life conversations and meetings. The younger generation today is more addicted to the virtual life that cellphones have created around us.

Over-reliance on Digital Information

Some studies have revealed that with the advent of cellphones, we have become more reliant on digital information rather than our own experience and knowledge.

Popular search engines like Google, Bing, AOL, etc. will answer all your queries in a fraction of a second. All information is available online on the internet. Though this is one of the major advantages of cellphones, they have also caused overindulgence or over-reliance on cellphones that have resulted in a decrease in confidence and brain functions among individuals. There is a lack of analytical thinking which can lead to brain laziness.

A Decrease in Attention Span

Mobile phones are stealing our attention span. Smartphones come with video screens that capture our attention instantly. As we walk down the road, we come across people who are constantly checking their phone screens even while they are crossing busy streets. A lot of accidents have been reported in the past due to this mobile addiction.

Cellphones can also cause anxiety. Research studies have shown that people who keep their phones nearby while working are less productive than those who don’t. Mobile phones distract you from work. There is a constant urge to check incoming messages which can distract you from work. This can also cause anxiety and stress among people.

Constantly checking your phones can develop anxiety and stress. You can also develop behavioral problems and the brain is unable to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The relentless urge of using mobile phones can cause the obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many corporate offices demand their employees to work 24/7. This has taken a serious toll both on their mental and physical health.

Company professionals and executives depend a lot on their mobile phones and tablets to send messages, check emails, or connect to their peers and prospective clients.

Many people are so stressed out they even get up in the middle of the night to check on emails or respond to messages. This can cause sleep deprivation, headaches, and stress. The stress level may be so intense that we may not be able to differentiate between home and our office. We often scroll down messages or images on phones just to fight boredom instead of doing some productive work.

Sleep Deprivation

Excessive use of cellphones can affect our sleep patterns or cause irregular sleep. We often keep our cellphones near us while we go to bed. While many of us use cellphones for setting alarms, there is an inherent need to check messages or emails even while we are in bed. This can disrupt our sleep.

Bedtimes are times to relax and unwind after a long day of work. But many of us tend to check messages even when we are going to sleep. While some messages are pleasant to read, some can upset us and can distract us from falling to sleep.

Moreover, these smartphones emit a blue light that works well in broad daylight but can make you feel stimulated while you are preparing to go to sleep at night. The continuous flashing of lights or beep sounds can disturb your sleep and cause sleep deprivation.

Short-term Memory Loss

cellphones and memory lossTeenagers are more likely to suffer short-term memory loss due to the distraction caused by cellphones. Mobile phones have digitized almost all aspects of our lives. We hardly use our brains even for simple mathematical calculations.

The younger generation is the victim of this new-age epidemic of cellphone addiction. Their eyes are glued to the cellphones and they often fail to observe their surroundings or remember the minute details.

The cellphones are small computers that can store massive amounts of data. Students and teenagers use these cellphones along with other applications to perform several tasks like doing homework, calculations, etc. This impairs the brain’s ability to do simple tasks or learn a new skill. This diminishes the overall IQ and also impairs the brain to form new memories.

Impairs Social Skills

Mobile phones kill your social skills. Cellphones have replaced person-to-person talks and conversations. You often feel more comfortable talking to a person over the phone rather than meeting him in person. This may develop a lack of confidence or interpersonal skills, especially among young adults. Too much use of a cellphone can also make you reclusive.

People in public places like restaurants or movie theatres are often checking their phones while they are with their partners or friends. This antisocial behavior can make you unpopular in your social circle.

Another important drawback is the lack of patience especially when you are messaging someone on phone. People often need instant gratification to feel appreciated. They feel neglected or get impatient if they do not get instant replies from their messages.

Ways to Avoid Cellphone Addiction

  • Find a hobby. Are you good at singing or do you like playing the guitar? It is time to focus on your hobbies and centralize your energy into something productive and meaningful. Hobbies will not only hone your talents but also help you to keep your mind away from cellphones.
  • Read books. Books can be real friends. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you can grab a good novel and this will help you fall asleep in no time.
  • Keep your home and office separate. Professionals and executives who have a very tight work schedule should learn how to keep their office commitments and homes separate. At home, you should relax with your family and friends. Try to finish work during office hours. This will give you ample time to focus on your home commitments.
  • Declutter your phone. Uninstall applications that are no longer useful to you. Remove mobile games. They are addictive.
  • Avoid scrolling messages. Try to avoid endless scrolling of messages and images on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. Focus on your work. Do not react to notifications instantly. You can check them later when you are not at work.
  • Tune down the background color of your phone. A very high-resolution color or bright background image of your phone can be distracting or even harmful for your eyes.
  • Do not carry your phones to your beds at night. Cellphones emit RF waves. They are not good for your brain or your overall health. Keep cellphones away from you while you are preparing for sleep.
  • Use headphones or speakers. Practice minimal touch with your phones. Answer your calls through speakers or try headphones.


Research study results are still inconclusive and do not yet show a clear relation between cellphones and brain cancer.
Yes. Overuse of cellphones can cause headaches in adults and children.
Overuse of cellphones can strain the eyes and cause irritation, blurry vision, throbbing pain, or headaches around the eyes, etc.

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