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Is Your Cell Phone Not Ruining Your Life?

• April 03, 2013 • 11:17 AM

(PHOTO: DANIELFOSTER437/FLICKR)

Your cell phone is killing you, destroying your relationship, frying your baby’s brain, fueling war in Africa, and so on.

Cell phones can be wonderful things. You might even be reading this on a cell phone. And today is the 40th birthday of the first mobile phone. That phone—look at how cute the antenna is!—could call other people at a somewhat successful clip and not fit in your pocket, but that’s about it.

Over the last 40 years cell phones have developed the ability to do so many different non-phone-call things, making calling more of “feature” or, oh no, an “app,” rather than a vital method of communication upon which this device’s existence is based.

So, 40 years on, it’s time to take stock of and ask yourself—as others have already done—what Your Cell Phone can actually do.

Is your cell phone…

Killing you?

Spying on you?

Making you sick?

Giving you a brain tumor?

Driving you crazy?

Making you a jerk?

Making you into a terrible person?

Posing a flu risk?

Cooking your brain?

Damaging your baby’s brain?

Radioactive?

Keeping you up at night?

Hurting your children?

Stealing your life force?

Making your face sag?

Zapping your thyroid?

Toxic?

Getting between you and your Valentine?

Ruining your relationship?

Giving you hemorrhoids?

Not actually a cell phone and actually a cook book?

Listening in on you?

Violating your rights?

Your best friend?

Hitting you below the belt?

Kosher?

Due for an antivirus shot?

Fueling rape and murder in the Congo?

In short: carrier pigeons.

Ryan O'Hanlon
Senior Digital Editor Ryan O’Hanlon joined Pacific Standard from Outside, where he was an online editor. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, and his writing has appeared in Grantland, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @rwohan.

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