Saturday, September 26, 2020
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Resurrecting the landline

It’s Saturday morning. I peek outside the curtain. Everything’s grey, dank, and cold. A typical winter’s day in Vancouver. I…

By Sarah Stenabaugh , in Feminizer: Western cultural values , on January 30, 2009 Tags: ,

It’s Saturday morning. I peek outside the curtain. Everything’s grey, dank, and cold. A typical winter’s day in Vancouver.

I growl under my breath because today is grocery day and I hate grocery shopping in the rain.

So I trudge out into the wetness and decide to call a friend en route. We chat, and I mostly grumble about how much I hate walking in the freezing rain.

Then it happens.

The mother of all heat waves. Yes, it was raining and cold, yet I was experiencing a hot flash that many middle-aged women would recognize. And I’m only 26.

Now, let’s fast forward.

It’s Tuesday, and as usual I’m reading the news, Nanaimo Daily News. What’s this? Health Canada is recalling LG 150 model cellphones because they exceed the radio-frequency exposure limit.

And to my surprise, excessive exposure can cause an increase in body temperature.

I have an LG mobile phone and had just experienced a massive hot flash. I hysterically checked the back battery. Phew, it’s okay, mine is an LG 8700. Nevertheless, the experience threw my brain into overdrive.

This makes me question: do landlines even exist anymore? How healthy are cellphones?

In 2005, Consumer Affairs ran an article that had British researchers warning that heavy cellphone use can cause brain and ear tumors and children under the age of eight shouldn’t be using them.

LikeĀ some women, my cellphone is a permanent fixture on my ear. I guess you could say that I am a heavy user.

In 2007, an annual poll done by AT&T in the U.S showed that on average, men talked for 458 minutes per month and women averaged 453 minutes.

After the initial shock that men actually talk more than women, I realized an overarching theme: like Americans, Canadians are becoming more and more cellphone dependent.

With one tiny gadget you can talk, text, e-mail, listen to music, create videos and take pictures. I would have never thought to add “soak-up radio-frequency waves” to the list.

Dr. Ronald B. Herberman of the University of Pittsburg Cancer Institute told CTV in an interview that even though there is no clear evidence linking cellphones to cancer, future research could prove otherwise.

I’m sold. I agree with Dr. Herberman. Cellphones haven’t been around long enough to know if they can cause any long-term health problems.

And I’m not willing to find out either. I’ve come to a decision.

I’m resurrecting the landline.