Is my cellphone giving me hemorrhoids?

To celebrate the mobile phone's 40th anniversary, we look back on the media's past concerns over its dangers

Published April 4, 2013 4:37PM (EDT)

This piece originally appeared on Pacific Standard.

Cellphones can be wonderful things. You might even be reading this on a cellphone. 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.
Pacific Standard

Over the last 40 years cellphones 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 Cellphone can actually do.

Is your cellphone…

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?


Keeping you up at night?

Hurting your children?

Stealing your life force?

Making your face sag?

Zapping your thyroid?


Getting between you and your Valentine?

Ruining your relationship?

Giving you hemorrhoids?

Not actually a cellphone and actually a cook book?

Listening in on you?

Violating your rights?

Your best friend?

Hitting you below the belt?


Due for an antivirus shot?

Fueling rape and murder in the Congo?

In short: carrier pigeons.

By Ryan O'Hanlon

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Anniversaries Communication Media Mobile Phones Pacific Standard Technology