Mobile Myths and Realities
Hello, friends. I’m sure every now and then, someone or the other tells you stuff that you ‘should not do’ with your various stuff, especially mobile phones. While most of that information is gleaned from SNS and apps like WhatsApp (oh, you unproductive piece of technology), the self-proclaimed pundits claim the ‘warnings’ to be true since they have heeded to it and have seen good results. Really? Naah… far from the truth. None of these naysayers have experienced anything different from what they are actually supposed to. Then why do they propagate such falsehood? The reason is an apparent lack of knowledge and the means to confirm the veracity of such claims. Nobody spends time in analyzing such stuff – they just fall for its face value. Let me help you get over a few of such omnipresent myths. Man!!! I love myth-busting and also seeing the faces of such nay-sayers after their bubble has burst.
You Should Let Your Battery Drain Completely Before Recharging
This one has been doing rounds since times immemorial. This is not completely false – here’s the catch, though. This ‘warning’ held true for the old NiCAD and NiMH batteries – they performed better when you let them fully drain before charging back to 100%. This, however, does not apply to the new age Li-ion batteries since they perform better when they remained charged. These new batteries do not have a ‘cell memory’ unlike their older counterparts.
You don’t have to let your battery completely drain before you recharge. Back in the day, old NiCad batteries found in our early handsets would have a memory whereby repeatedly charging when half full, for example, would result in unspent cells effectively dying. But modern day Li-ion batteries will come of no harm whatever the percentage of power you’ve got left.
So if a know-it-all tries to tell you otherwise if you’re plugging your mobile in every day, you can politely inform them it’s actually the preferred method of charging.
Also, if you leave your phone charging and it’s reached 100 per cent you don’t have to worry there. Smartphones are smart enough to stop juicing once it’s full.
Note: You may want to avoid keeping your mobile phone under your pillow, whether charging or not. Not that it kills you – just that your pillow metaphorically ‘smothers’ your phone leaving less room for heat dissipation and leaving the phone overheated. Anyways, who in their right mind would want to ‘sleep’ with a ‘distractive’ tool right beside their heads? Not me!!!
Apps Running in the Background Should Be Closed to Save Battery and Avoid Slowdowns
Another old wive’s tales doing rounds in the mobile circles since ages. This has led to an onslaught of ‘memory cleaning’ apps. They are churned out a dozen a week. And too bad – many people actually believe their phones benefit from these apps. While all smartphones are capable of multi-tasking and leave a couple of apps running in the background, there’s a good reason to it. Doing so lends efficiency to multitasking. Especially considering the fact that the not just the phone, the users multitask too. Hence ‘background running’ of such apps is imperative. Now the above warning stems from a misplaced concern that multitasking impedes the phone’s performance since such additional processes use system resources, and the more programs you have running, the slower the device can get. Now the reality is that even with apps running in the background, the battery drain is minimal. The OS limits battery usage by background apps and hence multitasking is the last thing that I could think of as an impediment to the battery life of phone performance. Truth be told, it’s good for some of the most used apps to run in the background since it becomes easier for the phone to run / execute those tasks. It’s like we keeping the mostly used articles (at home / office) on the desktop / table top and leaving the least used articles neatly tucked in the cupboard / Almira.
Here’s what a professional (and a good friend) has to say about killing apps and the apparent need to wisen up.
You may die if you speak on your mobile phone as it’s getting charged
This one’s been around for a while now – with warnings and ‘doctored’ images on SNS and time-killer apps like WhatsApp. This is a very notorious viral alert – but that’s all it is – a HOAX in bold letters. I’ve spoken while my phone was being charged several times since I bought my first phone in 2004. I got electrocuted several times, all my fingers are burnt, my ear is heavily damaged, my face was blown off and on one occasion, I died too. Too bad, my dear enemies – I lied. I’m still alive and kicking with 0% harm ever derived from speaking on my phone as it got charged. The reason is that unless your battery / charger is seriously damaged or made of really cheap ‘oriental’ materials, you don’t stand a chance of getting harmed. The charger is designed to let a minuscule amount of power reach your phone battery (remember, it’s not a lead-acetate car battery). Don’t believe me? Touch the metallic pin / end of your charger – got electrocuted? No.. right? That’s precisely my point.
A mobile phone can cause a petrol station to explode
This is not as old as the earlier two – however, is taken seriously nevertheless. Reasons quote for this – mobile phones use GSM technology (I seriously fail to understand the harm), a mobile battery can cause a spark etc. Now let’s check the truth – petrol stations attendants also use SIM-based wireless card terminals. They use the same network technology as our phones i.e. GSM. If they can’t ignite fires, your phones can’t either. Secondly, let’s take mobile batteries for instance – so far there hasn’t been a single documented (and verified) case of a mobile phone lighting up a petrol station. I’ve read some articles – but they found their place in some interesting websites like www.snopes.com and www.hoax-slayer.com. At least I know how much to trust such ‘warnings’. And if batteries could cause explosions, then cars and other 4+ wheelers should not be allowed in petrol pumps too – they have larger and more potent batteries. One very likely cause of such ‘petrol station fire’ is the otherwise harmless static discharge that happens even from the material of your seat as you exit your car (lift your derriere). I’m not going to digress on static electricity so you can stop yawning.
A mobile phone can cook an egg
A good one – I could laugh the whole day. It’s silly too – too silly (for any grown up who has even an ounce of gray matter in their brains) to believe. It’s true that mobile phones do emit radiation but it’s a fraction of a fraction’s worth of power (mobiles typically only can produce 0.25W) needed to cook an egg. It certainly couldn’t produce the 70 degrees or more to boil / cook eggs. In reality, not even a 100 mobiles stacked on top of an egg calling each other could warm an egg more than a degree. In fact, mobiles don’t even directly transmit to each other. They have to call a nearby relay / cell site first, so putting the egg between them makes no difference. Too bad all you ignorant and lazy bums, you have to head for the kitchen to cook your eggs – you phone isn’t doing it for you.
Mobile phones can cause brain cancer
This is just like the ‘egg’ joke. The well-read and educated scientists could not find an evidence that corroborates this hoax, yet. However, the pseudo-intellectuals claim to know more and end up believing such jokes. Research explains that mobiles are ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) devices and this low-powered radio and microwave radiation doesn’t have the right frequency or energy to ionize molecules and change DNA. Long story short – while there is still some uncertainty due to the lack of long-term study, evidence so far suggests there is no link between mobiles and cancer.
So don’t let some dubious website / app instil unwarranted fears in your heads. Read, comprehend, get your facts right and don’t just lap up any rubbish that is thrown at you by these so-called wise-guys. I just tried to show you some light – I leave the rest to you to comprehend.