Talking smart


Blacksburg, Va., Oct. 7-Talk Smart: Talk Smart is a documentary featuring real-life stories and interviews about how cellphones have affected their lives. Photo credit:

by Elisabeth Souther–

This summer, I worked for a non-profit production company that was working on a documentary about cell phones and children. The documentary, Talk Smart, shows how cell phones have changed the way children live their lives. According to Growing Wireless, over 50 percent of children, age 8 to 12 have cell phones and on average, children who are around 12 years old will receive their first mobile device. I was 15 years old before I got my first cell phone.

The documentary wants to appeal to children and their parents on how to use cell phones in a smarter and more mindful way, as the allure of cell phones can be addictive, distracting and potentially harmful to their health. The video suggests not having the cell phone close to you when you sleep or putting it directly on your ear when you make a phone call.

There has been a lot of research done on whether or not cell phone use can lead to cancer. Due to the fact that cell phones emit radio waves, a form of non-ionizing radiation, from their antennas, your tissues can absorb this energy when the cell phone is close to your body. Although there have been an increase in brain cancer over the years, according to the National Cancer Institute, studies have shown no statistically significant increases in brain or central nervous system cancers related to higher amount of cell phone use.

I talked to many people this summer about how they’d feel if they knew cell phone use could increase their risk of cancer. Many people thought, yes, they’d be concerned, but not enough to stop using their phones. Phones have become a huge part of our everyday life that I don’t know if it’s possible to stop, however, I do agree that people should be mindful of the dangers and use their phones in a smarter way.