Monday, August 12, 2013

Unplug Your Router

The possible hazards of electromagnetic fields (or EMFs) is a hot topic on the science and health scenes right now. Inescapable in urban areas, artificial EMFs are all around us: cell phones, power lines, and wi-fi routers, to name a few.

I've read a handful of articles on EMFs, and while there isn't a consensus on the level of danger, there is mutual concern, and lots of research being done. Alarmists claim that ill effects of EMFs can to range from concentration problems and muscle aches to migraines and insomnia to serious degenerative diseases like cancer. I recently read an article about some ninth-grade girls in Denmark who wanted to see if router proximity would make a difference in a seed's ability to grow. It did. Less of the router seeds sprouted than those in a room sans radiation. (It's obviously a preliminary study, and though some have criticized it, I still find it interesting. I'd like to try it at my house.)

I'm only beginning to learn about all this (maybe Cameron could do a guest post). The point of this post is not to convince you that you're in danger, but to nudge you to consider the issue if you aren't already. We're certainly not doing all we could to protect ourselves from possible harm, but we do a few things that hopefully help a little. We don't carry cell phones in our pockets (my husband used his for the clock, so I bought him a watch instead). We don't use bluetooth devices. I never let my kids put a cell phone to their ear (I don't either -- it gives me a mild headache, and according to this study, children absorb ten times more radiation). We don't sleep with cell phones in bedrooms. We don't have a microwave. We recently stopped using our baby monitor (quick google search: "baby monitor emf"). We've made one other change I feel has been positive, and I want to extend the same challenge to you (maybe I'll call it our Daily Dare, haha):

Turn off your wi-fi at night.

Most people use a wireless router for internet these days, but don't think to unplug it at night, which would protect from half a day's exposure to the all-permeating EMFs. My children sleep within ten feet of our router (on the other side of a wall) and I have plants growing within eight feet through another wall. I'd rather not risk a steady dose of radiation, however small, to all that precious life.

Another great benefit from this habit is that our mornings are much more productive. It has to be something pressing to get us to plug it back in, so it's often off for half of the next day as well. Having no internet can be so helpful (we don't have smart phones). Life exists without internet!

What do you say, are you with me?
What do you know about all this?


  1. Cameron and I definitely get headaches when we use our cell phones long. He recently bought me a little headset that plugs into my phone, so I don't have to have the phone right by my head. But Peter chewed off the earpiece foam.

    That's a great idea to turn off the router at night! We will definitely start doing that.

    Cameron used to carry his cell phone in his pocket, and started feeling "phantom" vibrations when his phone wasn't there. His muscle visibly twitched. I googled the phenomenon and found that he was not alone! There were seemingly hundreds of people discussing the same experience in online forums, all of whom were having muscle spasms where they would normally carry their phone (breast pocket, side pocket, in purse under arm). Some people said it was purely psychological... just imagination. But we're pretty certain it was really happening.

    We haven't missed our microwave... much. It's pretty easy to adapt to life without one.

    The fact is, there are so many signals passing through us every minute it can feel like a lost cause. But if we remember that the strength of the signal is always strongest next to the source, and keep the sources as far away from us as we can, we'll be better off.

  2. Nonie, I love this idea. I was told by a weirdo doctor recently that if I do this many of my physical ailments would clear up, such as my wheat allergy. It just made me laugh, because I don't have a wheat allergy...

    But all that aside I really do believe in the wisdom of this move. I read an article recently about the different electrical wave lengths living things, including foods, exude. The most important wave lengths this article mentioned were those of the earth. It also went into some interesting facts about the human body being in harmony with the earth, and how in areas where there is a lot of interference via cell phones, radios, and others, the earth's wave length is virtually impossible to tune into. The scientists were postulating that this could be one part of why so many diseases are spreading so quickly. There have also been theories about the disappearance of bees revolving around these ideas. Wish I could remember where I read that article -- I'd love to have Cameron's thoughts on that too...

  3. Thanks Nonie. I really love these concrete back ups to what I feel "in my bones" (that takes on a double meaning here, yes?) about technology, and its place in our lives. Its great. But even if there were no dangers to having our phones and computers as our bedfellows, there are other losses.

    I believe in giving time to God; our undivided attention. There are many ways, times and places to keep our appointments with deity, but I believe our personal receptivity, and His most precious time to access us is just before, during, and as we awake from sleep. If we clear that space, not only physically, but emotionally, and are willing to be away from our distractions, and allow our bodies, minds and hearts to be 100% available, what precious truths we allow, or make possible to receive.

    How I wish the technology that exploded directly during our ten children's upbringing had not been ahead of how we knew to best deal with it. I know it was my hardest work as a mother to try to keep technology in its place, as I tried to balance agency with structure, and fun with spirituality in family life. I hope and believe His grace is sufficient to make things right when technology tipped the scales like never before -- for my original ten, and my up and coming little ones. Good to know there is science behind turning things off and leaving them far from you, as well as spiritual reasons.