American Consequences - January 2018

these devices interfere with everything from productivity to sleep patterns in addicted teens. What’s more, researchers also used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to look at chemicals in the teens’ brains. Those addicted had higher ratios of two important neurotransmitters – gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate-glutamine (Glx). GABA slows down brain signals, while Glx excites brain signals. Throwing off that ratio is a signature effect of not only addiction, but also depression and anxiety. Now, there is some controversy about this study and ones like it... You see, we’re still not totally sure that smartphones cause addiction, which then causes anxiety and depression. The other possibility is that folks with anxiety and depression are more likely to turn to their phones for distraction (and subsequently get addicted). However, this study doesn’t surprise us because we’ve seen so many similar studies about the dangers of cellphones. Smartphones literally change the way we think. They shorten our attention spans and cause us to constantly check that we aren’t missing out on something. In one study, students had their phones taken away, but could still hear them. The researchers then sent texts to the phones, making them go off, but the students couldn’t answer. Their anxiety levels skyrocketed. These smartphones also change the way our memory works. A 2011 study demonstrated

that people who used the Internet made less of an effort to remember things. It’s called “memory outsourcing.” We don’t know if our memories will deteriorate because of it, or if we’re simply entering an age where we learn and process information differently because of our reliance on technology. What we do know is that the constant interruptions interfere too much in our lives. In the worst cases, they offer a tool to fuel addictive behaviors. One of the best things you can do... put your cellphone away at least an hour before bed. And keep it in another room. Not only will it calm your anxiety, but it will also keep you away from dangerous radiation. And when you’re with family, say around the table sharing your holiday meal, make sure everyone leaves their phones in another room. Personally, I think we spend way too much time on our devices. Try committing to turning your phone off for certain periods of time, be it just an hour or overnight. Not only will this reduce your exposure, but it will help fight off any addictions to the phone that you might have. Try it out, and let us know how it goes with your family over the next few weeks. I detail the risks of cellphone use in my report, “How to Protect Yourself from Your Cellphone and Other Devices: The EMF Radiation Protocol.” Learn more by clicking here.

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