Our smartphones are left on virtually all the time these days. Here are five convincing reasons why you should turn off your phone at night – or at least once in a while.
Let’s be honest: Most smartphones run around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And this is no good – neither for the user nor for the environment, not to mention for the phone itself. So if you’re still wondering if you should turn off your phone every now and then or at least turn it off at night, the answer is definite: Yes! Here’s why.
1. Turn Off Your Phone at Night: It’s Better for the Environment
So, why should you turn off your phone at night? We don’t chat on the phone or answer messages while we’re asleep. Nonetheless, most people don’t ever turn off their cell phones after calling it a night. This means: We leave our phones on anywhere from a third to half of the day (of the week, of the year…) without using them at all.
All night long our phones remain connected, as ready to send and receive messages and data as they are during the day. This constant connectivity is maintained at the expense of dwindling battery life which forces us to charge our phones more and more frequently. In the end, the greater number of charging cycles we need will in turn reduce the overall lifespan of our smartphone.
Many of us simply opt to replace our phones when the internal battery starts to show its age and charging becomes ever more frequent. Thus, we end up buying way too many new phones at the cost of environmentally destructive production processes – and only because we leave them on every night.
The solution: Simply switch off your phone at night. Or at least activate airplane mode. If you normally use it as an alarm clock, try using a conventional alarm clock instead – and buy one second-hand if you can!
Utopia’s tip: Take Action: 15 Everyday Ways to Combat Climate Change
2. It’s Safer to Switch off Your Phone
We constantly use an alternating array of apps on our mobile phones as well as on our computers and tablets. These programs create temporary data that accumulate over time. Eventually, our phones become slower and/or less reliable. Many people familiar with the phenomenon know that a quick restart often solves that problem.
Also, the apps on our smartphones are updated regularly. However, it is not easy to replace apps while the phone is turned on. That’s why many updates only take place when the phone is restarted. At the same time, updates are necessary because they leave your phone more secure against malware.
This is another reason why it makes sense to turn off your phone more often: It tidies things up all on its own.
3. Going Offline Reduces Stress
Do we really need to be available to answer calls and texts at all times of the day? If you’re already stressed, wouldn’t it be wiser to eliminate a few of these stress factors you know you have control over? Going offline once in a while helps reduce stress.
There has long been growing evidence that spending an increased amount of time on your phone can lead to depression and other related health issues. Instead of fueling the fire, why not just turn off your phone – at least during the night?
Utopia’s tip: Digital Detox: The Cure For Your Tech Addiction
4. Turning Off Your Smartphone at Night Limits Radiation
Our smartphones emit radiation even when we’re not using them as long as they’re turned on. The extent of the radiation and its consequences are highly controversial; there is no real agreement yet. However, experts advise keeping radiation levels as low as possible.
And it’s quite simple: Switching off your smartphone = zero radiation. Then, and only then, it’s ok to leave your phone next to your bed at night. Flight mode is less effective in comparison as a majority of smartphones still emit some amount of radiation.
5. Switching Off Your Phone Helps it Hold a Charge
It’s certainly not a deciding factor, but you should be sure to turn off your phone at least when charging. For one thing, you probably won’t be using it to make calls or send texts during this time anyway. Secondly, switching your phone off lets your phone battery charge faster. Lastly, according to expert opinion, the battery charges more steadily when your phone is turned off, which also benefits the battery life.
Bottom line: Switching off your cell phone at night does many things at once: It reduces your personal radiation exposure, it adds to your phone’s battery life, reduces energy consumption, and extends the overall lifespan of your phone. In addition to this, turning off your phone leaves you less stressed and allows you to be mentally more independent of the constant attention vacuum online.
How you turn off your phone depends on the model you’re using. For Android phones, you simply press the off button for a few seconds; for iPhones (iPhone X or newer), you need to press the volume down and volume up buttons and the side button at the same time. A slider should then appear on the screen, which you can use to turn off the device.
By the way: Not everything, but much of what has been said also applies to computers and tablets.
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This article was translated and adapted from German to English. You can view the original here: 5 Gründe, warum du dein Handy ausschalten solltest.** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.