Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Sunday, June 23, 2024

I've always been worried about having hypochondria.

Next to terrorism, baby carrots and the phrase "laugh out loud," this disease is my greatest fear.

I've had a symptom or two, sure, like when I thought I got AIDS after accidentally drinking from a stranger's straw at Disney World in 1994. But is this enough for a diagnosis?

More light was shed on my disorder recently, thanks to a friend of mine. On our way to the pharmacy one night, he asked me if I considered myself a hypochondriac.

"I think I might be," I said. "But I can't really be certain. How can you tell?"

"Well, have you ever thought you had cancer?" he asked.

Uh-oh. Looks like I'm a goner.

Take my latest obsession: cell phones causing brain tumors.

During Thanksgiving break, this was a topic of conversation.

I can't remember how we began talking about it, but it was enough of a surprise that I unglued my cell phone from my ear to weigh in on the matter.

Sure, I'd heard my share of rumors about this sort of thing, but it never seemed as problematic as, say, deodorant giving me breast cancer or microwave ovens being lethal.

My skepticism was put to rest, however, when my mother showed me her cell phone manual.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

I would have looked through the manual for my phone, but I trashed it upon purchase. I spend too much time talking on the phone to read directions.

Under "Important Safety Precautions" on Page 3, it states, "Do not hold or let antenna come in contact with your body during a call."

Say what?!

Maybe you could put that one on the box, buddy - in all capital letters. Better yet, pray tell, why don't you want me to touch the antenna? Is it bad luck or something?

To be safe, the next precaution should be to just leave the phone turned off in the box. But instead, it says something about not letting animals' teeth or nails touch the battery. Really? I thought it could double as chew toy. My bad.

Let's go to Page 12 for more information.

"This device was tested for typical use with the back of the phone kept 0.6 inches from the body." So what happens when I press the phone flush against my face because the volume isn't loud enough? By the way, the phone is less than half an inch thin.

But my favorite tidbit didn't appear until Page 83 in an FDA Consumer Update: "The available scientific evidence does not show that any health problems are associated with using wireless phones. There is no proof, however, that wireless phones are absolutely safe."

I'm at a loss. Seven solid years of killing myself softly. I obviously have to scrap my life-threatening telecommunications device - after a class-action lawsuit - but then what?

I can no longer rely on more resourceful people to give me necessary, last-minute directions via cell phone.

Instead of just calling people to tell them I'll be five minutes late, I would actually have to be on time.

Hopefully, scientists are closer to finding a cure for cell phones than they are to finding a cure for cancer.

Or at least they could cure my hypochondria.

Vincent Massaro is a senior majoring in journalism. His column appears on Mondays.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.