At home with your mobile phone


At home with your mobile phone

When is your house not your home?

When your home is your smart mobile phone.

According to a group of UK anthropologists, people are now so attached to their smartphones, that these phones are literally becoming their homes.

The study project, led by Professor Daniel Miller from Cambridge University, involves research by 11 researchers over 16 months across nine countries. The research that has been published so far in a series of books reveals important insights into our relationship with this technology and its impacts.

‘Instead of using the smart phone as just a device that we use, it should be seen as a place within which we live—a kind of transportal home,’ the researchers said.

They also found that people’s awareness was often more engaged in their phones than in their physical surroundings. According to Professor Miller, ‘the smartphone is no longer just a device that we use, it’s become the place where we live. The flip side of that for human relationships is that any point, whether over a meal, a meeting or other shared activity, a person we’re with can just disappear, having ‘gone home’ to their smartphone.

‘This behaviour, and the frustration, disappointment or even offence it can cause, is what we’re calling the death of proximity. We are learning to live with the jeopardy that even when we are physically together, we can be socially, emotionally or professionally alone.’

The research also shows how the smart phone is impacting on communication, social media, ageing and family dynamics.

It gives a whole new meaning to the concept of being at home with technology.

‘The Global Smartphone—Beyond a youth technology’ by Daniel Miller et al,

What you can do

Take a break from your mobile phone.

  • Leave it at home today.

  • Turn it off!

  • Keep it out of reach and out of sight.

Connect to the real world instead:

  • Spend one-to-one time with someone you care for.

  • Take a walk in nature.

  • Be aware of your surroundings as you go about your day.

How did you go?

Last week, Professor Olle Johansson and I suggested a simple exercise for you to try and we’d love to hear your feedback on it. If you haven’t had a chance to try this yet, here it is again.

  • Reduce your exposure and your children’s exposure to wireless radiation as much as you can for a few days (or, better, a week). For example:
    • move your mobile phone away from your bed

    • don’t hold your phone against your head or body while it’s ON

    • leave your mobile phone at home

    • keep device-free.

  • Do you notice any changes in the way you feel? Did you notice any changes in your children? Please let us know about them.

What else you can do

  • Why not purchase one of our meters as a tax deduction so you can measure your exposure at home and work? You can see our range here

  • If you found the information above of interest, please forward this email to others.

  • If you’d like more information, you can download our latest issue of EMR and Health here.

  • If you’ve been sent this message by a friend and would like to subscribe to future updates, you can do that here.

How else we can help you

  • You will find lots of information about how to measure and reduce your exposure on our website.

  • If you’d like information about a specific problem you have, take the advantage of our phone consultation service to book in a chat with a professional.