For once I’m in full agreement with an article about the damage mobile phone technology does to our health.
A writer at The Economist has covered another study of the perceived impact of technology on the people who worry about it. I’ve had direct experience of this through work with mobile network roll-outs, and with handsets issued to company employees as part of their standard equipment – both cases where technology gets imposed and people get anxious, some develop electrosensitivity.
According to The Economist “This suggests that electrosensitivity, rather than being a response to electromagnetic stimulus, is akin to well-known psychosomatic disorders such as some sorts of tinnitus and chronic pain. A psychosomatic disorder is one in which the symptoms are real, but are induced by cognitive functions such as attitudes, beliefs and expectations rather than by direct external stimuli.”
Beliefs and expectations, well chosen words – I once arranged for a section of a national mobile network to be switched off overnight to help a lady, whose beliefs and expectations of what radio waves were doing to her life, had made it a absolute misery. A pressure-group had helpfully informed her that a new installation had been planted 1000m from her house, explained the concerns surrounding such installations – and gave her the number to call.
So we listened, we picked two nights at random, shut down the base station which someone had suggested was the cause of all her problems, and asked her if she could tell us when the transmissions had stopped. You may be able to guess the outcome but what surprised me was her reaction; gratitude. “Please thank the company for taking me seriously. I will continue my search for what’s affecting me.” Sadly I feel she’s probably still searching.