Day Twenty: I Broke the Rules

Retina Tear?

Today is day twenty. I have broken one of my rules, and it is a huge one. I used a cell phone. Now before you jump to conclusions, I will tell you why I did. Yesterday when I got home from practice at 6:30, my brother told me that my dad tore his retina. To some of you that might be strange, but according to my dad’s optometrist, it is prevalent amongst people who are near sided. Anyways, he had to go to the doctor at 8 in the morning today for an emergency procedure. Of course I go to school at 7:45, and my mom is out of town and my brother has to go back to college because he had a huge presentation to do this morning.

So my dad drove himself to the optometrist because he could still see some out of his right eye, and perfectly out of his left. The optometrist was not able to give a full and complete diagnosis yesterday when he had to check my dad’s eye out, so my dad did not know if it was going to be quick or long. If it was quick, then all they would do is expand the eye with gas to force the retina to reattach. With this procedure done, he could operate a motor vehicle. The second, more severe case is that he would have to undergo surgery to reattach it. It was because of this possibility that I had to bring my cell phone to school. If he had to get surgery, he could not drive, and I would have to pick him up from the doctor’s office.

Luckily he had the quick procedure done, and was able to drive himself home. So technically I broke my rules of not using a cell phone, but in my guidelines I said that if there was an emergency, I could use my cell phone. This constituted as an emergency, so I did not break the rules. I have not used my cell phone for any other reason today, and when I return home I will turn my cell phone over to my dad.

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Day Nineteen: 2,600 People Die Each Year Because of Technology

Technology Kills

Today is day nineteen, and I am writing this blog a day late. Yesterday, I found out that my dad tore his retina, so I ended up having to drive my brother an hour away so he could get back to his dorm and do his final preparations on his presentation he had. If you want the details on the retina tear, please refer to my day twenty blog. If not, keep reading this blog.

Anyways, I had to drive my brother back to college at 6:30 because my dad cannot see out of one of his eyes, and therefore cannot drive my brother back. So that took me an hour and a half to do that, so when I got home it was 8. At this moment in time, I still had to eat dinner, and shower. So by the time I got to my homework it was already 9 and I had to write an essay and study for a huge government test, so therefore could not write my blog.

Anyways back to how day nineteen went. It was a long day, and again the need for a cell phone was not apparent until I found out about my dad. I have been researching how many crashes are caused by people on a cell phone, whether it is texting or placing calls. According to the article, 1 in 20 automobile crashes is due to some one using a cell phone. That is a staggering statistic because that is a lot of crashes that can be prevented by just not using a cell phone. In the article they say that 2,600 people die each year from this technology.

It also says that the cost of banning cell phones while driving would be just as expensive as if it was allowed. To me what that means is that the safety of people is not worth the cost, which is a terrible thing to say. Try telling that to someone who has lost a love one in a crash because some punk was texting while driving.

Day Eighteen: Low Sperm Count?

Today is day eighteen, and I found the weirdest article that deals with the cell phones effect on the body. I found this on medical news today, and it talks about how the usage of cell phones inhibits a male’s sperm count. That does not seem like a logical effect for cell phone use. You hold the phone to your ear, yet the effect is down in your belt area? Come on, that does not make sense. According to the article, the doctors hypothesize that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phones is the cause for this decrease.

If parts of your body can be affected that far away, then how does a cell phone not cause brain cancer or other kinds of complications? In another article I found, it tested the effects of cell phones on rats. One doctor says that the effects on the brain is a very high probability based on the tests they did on rats, but others say that what effects a rat does not necessary effect humans in the same manner. The doctor who believes that cell phones affect brain function uses a fact that microwaves, I am not talking about actual cooking microwaves, generate heat and can melt the brain. That is why the tests on rats showed a decrease in brain memory.

If this can happen to humans, which will completely alter the health of kids in my generation. We are by far the most avid cell phone users amongst all the age ranges, and have been using cell phones since a young age. Therefore the exposure that my generation will have to cell phone radiation is an insurmountably more than that of past generations. Studies have also shown, as will intuition, that as the years go on, more and more kids have a personal cell phone. My neighbors, who are eight and nine years old, both have their own cell phones. To me, that is ridiculous, but to their parents they believe it is great because they will always be in contact with their kids. Doctors are still having debates over this issue. The generation that will bring the most conclusive results will be mine.

Another issue that I have though of is the effects of cell phones on young kids. It is logic that young kids are more susceptible to major sickness and other effects on their body because they are still developing. So intuitively, you would think that the younger the kid is, the more they are at risk of cell phone radiation effecting them. I am not a doctor, but that is something that makes sense to me. Kaiser out.

Day Seventeen: Telephia

 

Even with the homies, he is on the cell phone. I like him anyways.

 

Today is day seventeen, and when doing some research on the average use of cell phones, I came up with an interesting article. It is a study done by a company called Telephia. In their study they took information that broke down the most usage of cell phones by age and by ethnicity. It said that African-American customers “used more than 1,200 voice minutes on average per month during the quarter, and Hispanic cell phone users followed closely with 979 total voice minutes used on average per month.” For the age groups the article stated, “Consumers age 18-24 use their cell phones the most, spending more than 1300 total voice minutes on average per month.”

I found that study as very interesting because it not only broke it down by age, but by ethnicity as well. The reason for African American and Hispanics using cell phones more is something that I do not have an answer for. But as for the age group that uses cell phones more is something that I can explain. If you look at the people who are constantly on the phone it is the people that are in the age range of 18-24. The reason why I believe the age starts at 18 is because they are looking at the age of independent consumers, not the ones that are on a family plan.

I think I might do a small study on the usage of cell phones of the kids at my school. I think that will turn up huge results because there are many kids who used their cell phone like me. My estimate is that the average usage of cell phones at my school is around six hours because most students text all during class and when they are doing homework. It is a widespread addiction and hopefully some of the kids will read my blog and change their cell phone habits.

Link to survey is:   http://www.videoaccessalliance.org/resources/_docs/telephia_release.pdf

Day Sixteen: Loophole Exploited

 

Gourmet Mac and Cheese from a Box

 

 

Today is day sixteen. New complications have arisen in my project because my mother left town to help out my sister. This causes a huge problem for communication between my dad and I. He works late until four each day and I get off of school at 2:30, but I have football until 6:15. He expects me to be home at that time, but sometimes practice runs late or I get food with the guys from the team. Since I cannot contact my dad he has really no clue when I will be home and will probably only make dinner for himself so he does not have a lot of leftovers.

This makes my life a little harder because now I have to make dinner when I get home and still try and cram in all my homework. That extra thirty minutes to an hour is the difference of me going to be at 11 or 12 at night. It is all right because I think that since it is the last week before break that teachers will be more in tune with test instead of homework. Another down side to my mom not being home is that my dad is very impatient, so if he makes dinner and I come home late, he might be a little edgy.

Yesterday I said I was going to exploit a loophole in my project by talking through my friends. At first they were fine with it, but then it got really distracting for them to do it during class. It had the exact results as I thought because they at first were fine with it, but halfway through the day they resigned from being my personal secretary. It actually felt kind of cool to have someone else talk on my behalf because I felt very important. Now I can see why people outsource their life. It’s quite invigorating

 

Day Fifteen: The halfway point

 

Half way Hooah!

Half way Hooah!

 

 

Today is day fifteen, and it is the halfway point in my project. I still have not heard back from either of the people I asked for interviews, and I am starting to get a little annoyed because it has been almost a week since I first e-mailed them. I guess I just asked the people who are the busiest. That would be my luck. I have an update for you all regarding my facebook. I had a project due in school in which required cooperation with another person, and we could not meet in person. Instead what I did was write my part to the project and sent it him through facebook, and it worked just like an e-mail, but it actually got a response very quickly.

Today I just realized a very simple loophole to my project that actually will let me communicate through a cell phone, but not break the rules of my project. Since all of my friends have a cell phone and I am usually with at least one of them at every part of the day, I can ask them to text or call people on my behalf; it is just like having a personal secretary. I think I will try it tomorrow, not because I want to text, but to see the reactions of my friends having to do a conversation on my behalf. It should be interesting because my friends are really nice and they will not deny me at first. I just wonder how long it will take them until they just say nope, and stop texting on my behalf.

How annoying would that be? If one of your friends did not have a cell phone, so whenever you were out you had to text and call everyone on that person’s behalf. It would be like being a personal secretary without the pay. It is like slave work. It is exactly like slave work, but you are a slave because you are too nice to say no to one of your friends. That is a touchy subject, but it makes since if you think about it. How about we call it volunteer work? I think that might be a more appropriate term for it. It is texting volunteer work. I wonder if that would look good on a college application?

What community service did you do? And your answer could be “I was a personal secretary to one of my friends because he did not have a cell phone so I did all that on his behalf. Interesting huh?

Day Fourteen: Still Waiting

no e-mails

no e-mails

Today is day fourteen, and it is a lazy Saturday for me. I have done nothing but relax today and wait for a response from the businessman and Verizon wireless representative that I contacted. It has been about five days now since I first contacted these people. I got an e-mail from the businessman who said he was busy, but he would contact me over the weekend to answer my questions. I am still waiting on that response. Since I was hoping to have the results of both interviews done by this week, I spoke with my brother-in-law and my sister.

My brother-in-law is a businessperson for some computer company in which I forget the name of. He says he owns a blackberry, and it has become a necessity to his job. He is constantly on the phone, or e-mailing people. Also, he has a long commute back home from work, and that he says increases his need for a cell phone in case something happens due to weather or other variables. In a simple summary, he said without a cell phone he would be unemployed.

When speaking to my sister, who is a physical therapist, she was unsure if cell phones could be used that much in order to cause cancer in people. She believed that there is such a tiny amount of some fancy term that I did not understand, that it cannot seriously affect a person except when exposed for long periods of times. When I asked about young kids as opposed to adults, she said since kids are still developing, there could be a chance of cell phones effecting them a little more than adults, but again the exposure is so minimal that it should not matter.

So in conclusion to both of my interviews, the verdict is that cell phones have become finely intertwined with the business community and the health effects of cell phones are virtually non-existent. Unless it adheres to the major principle of too much of something is never good.

Day Thirteen: Friday the 13

Tree Pumpkin

BOO ITS FRIDAY THE 13!

Today is day thirteen, and it is game day. Today we play Torrey Pines, who is our biggest rival. It sucks not having a cell phone on this day because I have several good friends that play for the team and several more who attend the school. It is always fun for us to send texts back and forth talking crap on each other because it is a tradition and very amusing to us. Other than that I do not feel like a need a cell phone.

It is to my surprise that this experiment is going this smoothly. When I talked about the outlook of my project on day one, I said that this would be as hard as it is for a smoker to break his or her addiction on cigarettes. I was wrong by a long shot. My need for a cell phone is completely cured, for now.

Next week is thanksgiving week, which means a week off from school and more time to do nothing. I am a very busy person and I always have homework to do, practice to go to, or other obligations that eat away at my time, so I do not realize that I am doing this project. To be honest with you, if it was not for my busy schedule, this would be a different kind of blog. It would be more like a Doctor Phil show, but in words. Or like Oprah, but with no meaning to it except a white kid who has a problem with not using a cell phone.

I wonder if in the years to come, if texting and cell phone addiction will be a serious problem that people will need to get counseling for it. That would be me if I haven’t undertaken this project. Or will my addiction resume after this month is up? Am I that weak minded? I do not believe so, but with my past addiction to my cell phone, I do not know how the future will go for me.

Day Twelve: The Parental Disadvantavge

texting sign

It should say "All texters while driving will be shot!"

Today is day twelve with out a cell phone. I have again been very busy and there has been no need for a cell phone yet today. That will change when the clock strikes three o’clock because I need to contact my parents on when they will be home. I have an orientation meeting an hour and a half away, and I can not be late. My parents will both be coming back from separate places, and if they are going to be late, I have to leave with out them. This is a problem because they are supposed to come with me, but if they are late by ten minutes I just have to leave.

This could cause a problem because if they are just around the corner from my house when I leave, I will not know because I can not facebook them or e-mail them. Also, I will be without contact with them for about four hours, which I know will make my mom freak out.

Here is where cell phones have benefited society. Parents are able to get a hold of their children instantly at any time of the day. This has brought comfort to many parents because even though their kids can be miles away, they can still contact them in an instant. Cell phones have offered a great peace of mind to parents.

Today when I was searching the web, I found an article about a man who was arrested for texting while driving in Orlando. The article is short, but it says that the man was texting while operating his motor vehicle, and crashed into another car. The person in the other car lost both his legs in the accident. This is outrageous. That is an accident that can be completely avoided if the person does not text while driving; it is that simple. It is utter irresponsibility and selfishness when people text while driving.

I will admit I have done it in the past, but the more a more I research this topic, the more I realize the danger and the stupidity behind it.

Day Eleven: The Stove Test

stove
Stove

Today is day eleven, and it has been another great day. Basically I have done homework all day and played Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Today was another day where I completely forgot that I had a phone. I believe that I am no longer addicted to my cell phone. Oh, and Nicole is really good at Modern Warfare 2. Anyways, I fee like a new man with out my addiction. I think this might be the feeling smokers get when they quit smoking cigarettes. Yeah it is that good.

By the end of the week I hope to have my interview complete with a Verizon wireless representative. It is my estimation that they will deny the possibility of cell phones causing health complications like cancer. There are no studies out to prove the fact that cell phones cause cancer, and therefore the cell phone companies will not acknowledge the fact.

Today I had an interesting experience. When my mother and I were driving to the doctor today, she needed to talk to my dad to check to see if she shut off the stove. Being my mom, she is always paranoid about these kinds of things, but she was driving because I left my wallet at home. She was freaking out because she though she left it on, but since she was driving, she could not use her cell phone. In all honesty she seemed really angry at my project and me because I could not cal for her. To make matters worse, we were already running late to the doctor, so she could not pull over. It was either break the law or have a possibility that the stove was left on.

What are people to do in these kinds of situations? There is a possibility of something going wrong, yet some people, like my mom, will not break the law for something like that. Her view was that it was her irresponsibility that she left the stove on, but is that a good enough reason not to break the law?

I will leave you with that thought. Oh, and the stove was not left on, I told that she did to see her reaction.