Immortal Mobile Myths

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on July 9, 2015, Thoughts

Mobile phones have been a part of most of our lives for a couple of decades at this point. And just like with anything else, a whole host of myths have sprung up around smart phones. Today we’re taking a look at some of the (sometimes weird) things that people believe about their phones, and hopefully busting some of these myths. Think you know how to charge your battery properly? You might be surprised…

You Should Let the Battery Drain First

This is actually a fairly commonly believed myth about most electronic devices, that you should let your battery completely drain before charging it again. But when it comes to mobile phones, not only is this not true, but it could actually end up damaging your device. If you’ve got a top end device such as an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, then you’ve got a lithium-ion battery. Unfortunately, letting these kinds of batteries completely drain multiple times leads to them becoming unstable, meaning you’ll be replacing your battery a lot sooner. What about for other devices? Well, there’s no evidence at all showing that you need to drain your battery. Just plug in when you feel like it, you’ll be fine!

You Need a Screen Protector Against Scratches

We’ll admit that in the past, a screen protector was a pretty good idea, since smart phone screens used to be quite delicate. These days though most phones have heavy duty Gorilla glass or something akin to it, meaning you’re unlikely to scratch the screen with normal use. And even if you don’t use your phone “normally” (maybe you consistently keep it in a pocket with your keys, for example), a screen protector probably isn’t going to do too much, since repeated hard-core scratching will eventually cut through the protector altogether. One reason that you might want to consider getting a screen protector is to hold the screen together if it shatters. Should you drop your phone and shatter the screen then a screen protector may well hold the pieces together until you can go get it fixed.

Using Your Phone on a Plane Will Lead to a Fiery Death

It used to be believed that the frequencies that mobile phones operated on interfered with important plane equipment (and no, we’re not quite geeky enough to name pieces of plane equipment). There is no evidence of this whatsoever though, and given that numerous airlines now allow you to use your mobile not only whilst in the air but also during take off and landing this myth really needs to be put to bed. The same goes for mobile use in hospitals, since there’s no evidence that mobiles interfere with medical equipment either. Even so, you’ll probably find that most hospitals do not allow the use of mobiles in certain areas.

You Need to Kill Apps to Get More Speed

This is one that even seasoned phone users tend to believe: that you need to remove apps from “recently used” lists or kill them using a task killer app in order to speed your phone up. The idea is that if you have an iPhone you go into your recently used apps list and delete apps, or if you’re on Android you download an app designed to kill tasks and manually close apps down, and then you’ll get more speed. Unfortunately, this really isn’t true. Though some apps do run in the background of your phone what they can do is limited (and in some cases, such as with a geo-locator or map app, killing it will kill some functionalities on your phone such as your ability to tag pictures with locations, for example). In most cases these “background” apps are simply being stored on your phone’s RAM so that if you need them again you can access them quickly. Killing them will mean that it will take longer to open frequently used apps. Plus, your phone is smart, if it needs some of that RAM space then it’ll kill the apps itself. For the most part killing apps will not get you any more speed at all, or at least only a negligible amount.

Charging Nightmares…

There are a whole bunch of myths centring around mobile charging. One is that you shouldn’t charge your phone overnight, which simply isn’t true. Again, your phone is smart, once its battery is full it will stop charging itself whether you unplug the cable or not. Some people, weirdly, think that using your phone whilst charging can result in it exploding… We’re not sure this needs to be said, but that is really a myth, we promise. Finally, there’s the idea that you should only use the charger that actually came with your phone. Okay, you’re likely to get a faster charge with a charger designed specifically for your model, but using third party chargers is absolutely fine, you’re not going to explode anything…

Yet More Explosions…

And, of course, there are many, many phone myths that involve explosions, because who doesn’t like an exciting explosion story? Despite what the signs at petrol stations tell you, there has never been a proven case of a mobile phone making a petrol station explode (this seems to have resulted from a hoax where letters were sent to Shell). Even so, we don’t recommend disobeying the petrol station signs… There have been cases of mobile phones themselves exploding, occasionally in hot cars, or where they were left in the sun, but these all seemed to result from faulty batteries rather than the nature of mobile technology itself. On the other hand, putting a phone in a microwave WILL make it explode quite viciously, so don’t try this as a way of drying out a wet mobile…

Mobiles and Your Brain…

Finally, there’s still a little discomfort for some people around the idea of radiation and brain cancer and mobile use. Once again there has been NO evidence at all to support the fact that mobile phones cause brain cancer. The radiation levels emitted by mobiles are exceptionally low, and are not the kind of radiation known to be dangerous. Yes, you should use a little caution, don’t sleep with your phone under your pillow, for example, or if you’re a frequent caller maybe invest in a hands free set. But there are many, many more dangerous things in the world than your mobile, so you really don’t need to worry!