Smartphones have really only been around a decade or so, but already in that time there have been many myths and urban legends that have developed around them. Can the radiation from your phone cook an egg? Does it interfere with planes or medical equipment? Should you toss it in a bag of rice when it gets dunked? The answers might surprise you.
Batteries are probably the biggest source of smartphone myths, and some of them are based on older technology that just isn’t relevant anymore. While phone batteries used to be able to develop a memory, which meant you needed to fully charge and fully drain the battery every time to prolong its life, that just isn’t the case anymore. In fact, almost the opposite is true. These days in order to get the longest life out of your cell phone battery, you should charge it for shorter time periods more frequently instead of leaving it plugged in for an extended period of time, such as overnight.
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Airplanes are likely to be unaffected by cell phones, contrary to popular belief, but the FAA doesn’t want to risk finding out otherwise. Medical equipment can be affected by smartphones, but a study found that medical errors due to delayed communication were of more concern than any potential interference.
Cooking eggs among the biggest smartphone myths
Way back in 2000, long before smartphones, a satirical site published a video how-to for using cell phones to cook an egg. It showed two cell phones cooking an egg, and from that point forward many people believed that the radiation from phones was capable of cooking food and potentially even your brain. While phones do emit a small amount of radiation, it’s important to keep in mind that radiation from space is passing through you every moment of every day without effect, and it would take 7000 phones to create enough radiation to warm, not cook, an egg.
One myth that turned out to be true is that your cell phone can be used to track your location, even when it is turned off. Removing the SIM card doesn’t help - the best thing to do if you are being tracked is to leave your phone altogether. Barring that, turning off location services and WiFi, turning your phone on airplane mode, powering it down, and removing the battery might work.
Your smartphone can do a lot of things, but cooking eggs and crashing planes aren’t on that list, thankfully. Learn more about smartphone myths below!