Responding to relentless advertising spells and giveaways, the age of cell phone users continues to drop as fast as their IQ and attention span.
In 2007, the average age of first-time “users” was 10. Within the next two years, International Data Corp forecasts the 9-and-under market will rack up an additional $1.6 billion in revenue for cell phone companies – and add another nine million child zombies in the United States alone.
As Dorjeen Carvajal reports, “Telephone use is also getting more precocious in Europe, according to a Eurobarometer survey of almost 1,000 children in 29 countries, most of whom had telephones after age 9.”
The mobile telephone industry “is reaching deeper into saturated markets to tap customers with chubby hands capable of cradling both dolls and phones,” Carvajal comments. As cell phone users in their ‘tweens and teens drive subscriber- growth everywhere, International Data Corp projects that by 2010, 31 million children could become zombies from holding miniature microwave ovens to their vulnerable soft brain tissue.
Targeting the youth market for zombification is especially cynical because children treat their microwave phones like a stuffed animal companion, the French mobile phone trade association AFOM revealed after surveying the habits of children too young to discriminate against dangers proffered by adults they trust.
Cell phone-toting tots also spend more of their parent’s money on the latest games, ring tones and wallpapers – and teens chatter even more than adults on their cell phones, greatly increasing cell phone company profits. Not to mention their own risks of developing allergies, senility, cataracts, learning disabilities, hyper activity disorders and brain tumors. [Intl Herald Tribune Mar 7/08]
Brain-damaging cell phone exposure continues through childhood. A 1996 study probing the “Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Mobile Telephones at 835 and 1900 MHz,” conducted by the fabulously named Dr. Om Gandhi showed electromagnetic radiation from cell phones “coupling” even more alarmingly with the electrically active brains of children, than through the thicker carapaces of cumulatively compromised adults.
“I didn’t know at the time industry was targeting children as the next growth segment. Boy, they really got after me,” Dr. Gandhi says, after he found that the thinner outer ears and skulls of children allow more energy from their cell phones to short-circuit delicate brain tissue. “The reason industry doesn’t like it,” Gandhi explains – “They don’t want to lose this part of the market.” [IEEE Transactions of Microwave Theory and Techniques Oct/96]
“We’re pretty bullish on increased usage by teenagers,” exudes Adam Guy, a senior analyst at the Strategist Group. “Usage penetration is exploding.”
So is brain penetration. Guy’s gushing followed yet another study – this one published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry – found that heavy cell phone use can cause brain cancer and other diseases in children, as well as adults by interfering with DNA repair
Dr. Theodore Litovitz, a biophysicist and professor emeritus of physics at Catholic University, explains: “Because stress proteins are involved in the progression of a number of diseases, heavy daily cell-phone usage could lead to great incidence of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.” [Reuters Apr 23/08; wirelessconsumers.org Dec03/01]
C’mon parents – Don’t allow your children to use cell phones.