“Did you know they just came out with this awesome smart [watch/fitness tracker/thermostat/pet bowl/fill-in-the-blank]?” Given how frequently new technology is being released nowadays, I hear that statement at least once a month. And some of these devices are so cool, that it can be easy to ignore the smart tech health risks.
What Are the Health Risks of Smart Tech?
At first, I didn’t question it. Smartphones are awesome. My friends love their FitBits. People rave about their Nest thermostats. And I have to confess that, as a dog owner, I’m in love with my Roomba to clean up fur every day. I wonder what else they’ll think of!
Eventually, though, I began to question when enough would be, well… enough.
New technology is being developed and released commercially to the public at such a fast rate that there are entire media outlets online devoted solely to the coverage of these new tech releases.
But what about the hidden health risks of smart tech and smart homes?
It can be easy to ignore, but the fact is that each and every one of these new “smart” devices emits EMF radiation (see the EMF levels I measured from “smart” tech at CES 2020). Not to mention, the blue light emitted from all of these screens that increasingly surround us can throw off our internal clock and negatively affect the quality of our sleep.3
The health risks of smart technology are real and well-documented (see here1, here2, and here3 for just a few examples), but unfortunately, most people still aren’t aware of them. So people continue amassing new wireless devices that increase their EMF exposure. We’re getting to the point where folks are being radiated from multiple sources, 24/7. There is no escape.
Be Smart: Why You Need to Buy and Use Consciously
With the health risks of smart homes and other wireless technology, and the ever-expanding definition of a “smart home” growing by the day, now more than ever you need to be smart (actually smart, not tech-smart) about what you buy and how you use your electronic devices.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to look at your life and determine whether the benefit of that shiny new gadget is worth the incremental risk it represents to your health.
So, ask yourself these 3 questions to get smart about your smart devices:
1. Do I really need this?
When considering buying a new device, it’s easy to get swept up in the thought of all the cool things you’ll be able to do if you buy it. But we often don’t stop to ask ourselves: Do I really need this?
Will this device change my life considerably? Or will it just be a toy that’s fun for a little bit. Be careful to not get swept up in the moment and become blindsided to the risk just because you want another shiny device.
Remember, anything you don’t have is alluring, but once you’ve had it for a little while the luster can wear off.
2. Is it worth the health risk of smart tech?
Each additional smart device you buy comes with a cost to your health. The more EMF you are exposed to, the more likely you are to experience negative health effects that are linked to EMF exposure. There is no safe level of EMF, and each additional source of EMF in your life adds to your cumulative exposure.
So, you need to ask yourself each time you consider buying or using a device: Is it worth the risk?
Take a bit to consider the risks inherent in over-using technology and, if you can’t answer yes, consider putting it down and adopting a healthier course of action.
3. Will this make me happier?
This particularly has to do with buying a new device, but it also has to do with your regular use as well. Perhaps the most important question of all is simply: Will this make me happier?
Sure, some devices make our lives easier. However, it’s important to remember that, in most cases, we were living just fine without it before we had it.
Don’t get caught up thinking you need or must have something just because it’s the latest gadget. Ask yourself the most important question of all and get clarity on what is really important.
By answering specific questions such as these, it will help you get down to what really matters and get smarter about your use of technology.
The Risks of Smart Homes are Real
The risks of smart homes and new EMF-emitting devices are real, but new technology won’t stop being developed anytime soon.
It’s your life, so it’s up to you to make the smart choice. So think about it: do you really need that new “smart” device? What’s it worth to your health risk?
- Can cell phone radiation affect my fertility? Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD. Sharecare.com/health/female-infertility/cell-phone-radiation-affect-fertility
- Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields From Laptop Use of “Laptop” Computers. C. V. Bellieni MD, I. Pinto MS, A. Bogi PhD, N. Zoppetti MS, D. Andreuccetti MS & G. Buonocore PhD Pages 31-36 | Published online: 08 Feb 2012
- Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness. Anne-Marie Chang, Daniel Aeschbach, Jeanne F. Duffy, Charles A. Czeisler. PNAS 2015 112 (4) 1232-1237; December 22, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.