Identifying Tech Toxins and the Easy Ways to Avoid Them for a Healthier, Happier Life.
By Marilee Nelson |
I’m the first to admit, there is a ton of love to give technology. So many of the things we completely take for granted today, like the luxury of using GPS on our phones while driving places, talking to your kids no matter where they are or being able to get the answer to any question—in just seconds! This can definitely make our lives easier and more care free.
But there are some aspects of technology that actually interfere with our quality of life.
Just like I steer clear of chemical toxins by using Branch Basics (YAY) to clean my office and home, use natural lotions, shampoo and body wash on my body and keep only organic in the fridge and pantry; I’ve also found some easy ways to limit what I call “Tech-Toxins”.
Most of us have encountered these “tech-toxins” - they include Tech Addictions and time wasters, Tech Radiation and Blue light and Tech Privacy Stealers.
By being mindful of our interactions with technology, we can begin a healthier lifestyle by entering a mindset of Tech Wellness.
This is a good place to start. Most of us wouldn’t even believe that there IS such a thing—and there wasn’t just a few years ago. But a dependency on our screens and all the dopamine we get there is a real and growing problem. Our website has a Screen Addiction Self-Test written by my friend and associate, world renowned expert in internet addictions Dr. Kimberly Young. Full disclosure here, most of the people I know take the test and tell me WOW. It’s an easy self evaluation and a good reminder, because Internet Addiction, isolation and depression are just some of the outcomes of too much tech time.
What’s Yummier? An Oreo or a Cellphone? We’ve all just inhaled this super fun and super convenient technology without really knowing what could happen. I lovingly refer to smartphones as the “Oreo cookies of Technology,” based on that university study that found that Oreo cookies light up the pleasure centers of rat’s brains more than cocaine does. That creamy combination of fat and sugar triggers addiction with ease—just like cocaine.
As it turns out, something very similar happens in your brain when you’re sucked into the power of hypnotic games or apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and even many shopping sites, which are programmed to keep you entranced. True that. Our job is to take notice and to take control—and this is really important for us to do as parents. Dr. Young and I have recently created a Tech Guide for Kids, based on their age group. We also recently did an episode of our our podcast, Thriving With Technology with Dr. Young, which is really worth a listen.
When cell phones first came to market, the makers thought they were developing a product for a very small group of business people. The fact that Apple alone now has 140 million iPhones in service would have been unfathomable. There are more smart phones in service than people in the world. So, unlike a regular consumer product, cellular phones weren’t subject to comprehensive consumer testing. It wasn’t until they had been in wide use for a number of years that the government did the first research study on the invisible wireless energy that powers all our wireless devices.
This invisible energy, called electromagnetic radiation, is a Tech-Toxin we need to pay careful attention to.
I have something called electro-magnetic sensitivity, which allows me to “feel” the energy that most people do not see, smell or touch.
The day I held my first cellphone in my hand, I realized I could feel a tingling with intermittent energy zaps. I thought everyone else could, too. That uncomfortable feeling magnified when I put the cellphone to my ear, and often after a phone call that lasted only a few minutes, my ears would ring.
Since I had such discomfort using the technology, it was easy for me to avoid, but it sent me on a quest to try and figure out what the energy was, exactly, and why I was reacting the way I did. Connected devices are constantly trying to connect—that’s what they do!—and they use (RF) non-ionizing radiation to do that. These waves are invisible, they don’t make a noise, but they have been proven in our 30 years of studies to cause us harm, even damage our DNA. This is not a question that most scientists even bother to ask any more. It’s just a fact.
The good news is that we won’t all react the same way to electromagnetic energy. I have particular sensitivity to the higher radio frequency fields. My lifestyle—avoiding wireless energy, taking care of my body, feeding my mind what is good, true and beautiful—all help me to keep my symptoms at bay.
My journey led me through explorations, consultations and research on all types of EMF sensitivity. However, my focus in sharing and creating awareness for others has been on wireless energy—not only because of my particular sensitivity to it, but also because the number of wireless devices is growing at quite a clip and the energy is increasing exponentially. The good news: You can keep this tech toxin from growing exponentially in your personal space by distancing yourself from the energy: Electromagnetic energy dissipates exponentially the further you get away from it. HOORAY!
Tech PRIVACY STEALERSFinally, we need to be smart and mindful of something that you wouldn’t normally think about as a toxin—but if it happens to you it can feel incredibly toxic— it’s the loss of privacy. From inadvertently allowing stranger to “know” YOUR name because your iPhone or Airdrop name is your actual name.-Yes that happens- to understanding privacy settings on the Apps you use. I’ve got lots of blogs and lots of tips for eliminating much of the yucky toxins that come from our technology
HERE ARE 10 OF MY FAVORITE TECH WELLNESS WAYS THAT YOU MAY WANT TO TRY:
- Turn off your notifications. I know, seeing something to do or knowing about those “likes” is thrilling, but that dopamine rush doesn’t just distract from the beauty or the tasks of the day at hand, but also fuels Screen Addiction.
- Try to eliminate or limit WiFi from your life and use Internet via a wired connection. I do this by using a wired connection, wired mouse and wired keyboard. Hardwired connections eliminate RF energy from wireless energy. A bonus is that your internet is faster, more secure. Make sure you toggle off the Bluetooth Setting and the WiFi Settings on your laptop or device. The result: almost no RF radiation. If you must use WiFi—switch it off anytime you’re not using it. Ahhhh that feels nice.
- Just say no to Location Services. Chances are, one or all of the Apps on your phone are sharing your location, which usually isn’t necessary. I recommend that you take a minute, go through your settings and turn Location permission: off.
- Try using the new iOS Screen Time or Download a time tracking app. If you’re like most people, you’re letting that phone take a lot of your precious time. Studies show that balanced (less) social media time means less depression and more happiness. For me, it works best to Schedule Social Media Time. Mine is after lunch for 15 minutes … and then, here’s the hard part—that’s it.
- Keep your computer and cellphone out of your sleeping area. Being clear of all EMF radiation makes for a lovely nights rest. Instead of awaking to the sounds of your smartphone, we found a lovely EMF Free alternative. Another great option is to put your cell phone on Airplane mode as much as possible during the day and at night.
- Get your Smart Meter removed. This Utility Meter is actually a very powerful WiFi Router that's consistently pulsing EMF (and information about what appliances you’re using) all day and all night. It could be the strongest EMF source in your home. So I recommend calling the power company and asking them to give you the tried and true standard utility meter. Ask them to switch it out to a non-wireless analog or digital meter. I did this and immediately noticed a healthy difference.
- Limit your wireless, bluetooth and “smart” devices in your home. And I tell all my young mom-friends to be careful of their baby monitors and turn them off anytime they’re not using it AND make sure it's at least 15 feet from the baby.
- Get your laptop out of your lap. And avoid putting your cell phone in your bra or pocket. Even with no WiFi or bluetooth connection, there are magnetic EMF's oozing from our devices. Try and keep a distance of 8 inches from phone and 12 inches from your laptop. How? I carry my phone in a case with a strap and I put my laptop on a pillow or on the counter top. NOTE: Shields and cell-phone EMF radiation filters do not work- I really wish they did, but even the FCC and FTC warn against these scams.
- Protect Your privacy. I try to stay away from public phone charging stations and public WiFi. Both can be major privacy stealers. Public charging stations can suck your information while you’re charging up. And public WiFi requires no authentication to establish a network connection.
- Don't hold your phone to your head. I don’t use Air Pods or wireless headphones because I want to keep the EMF radiation away from my brain! I use Tauki Wired Headphones that include Air Tube Technology. The tube of air acts as a buffer between the RF energy coming from the cell phone and stops it dead in its tracks!
Stemming from her personal journey through her own EMF sensitivity, August serves as a voice helping women and families understand how important, safe and easy it is to commit to a lifestyle of less toxic tech. By way of her 50+ informative videos, dedicated solutions based techwellness.com, numerous blogs, and social media, August is a trusted voice on the correlation between health and balanced technology use. Follow her as she brings you the latest information from the most experienced experts in the field of blue light, EMF, screen addictions and internet privacy. Follow @techwellness on Instagram and Facebook and connect with her via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marilee Nelson is an Environmental Toxins expert who has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the chemically-sensitive and chronically-ill. She is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Bau-Biologist and Bau-Biology Inspector and specializes in Food As Medicine. She has helped thousands of families and individuals identify, heal and recover from toxic exposures and is on a mission to revolutionize the way American families view their health.