Picture 1 (adv. seen from the ferry)
Anyway, if we leave aside what I feel, we know that even 1G or 2G cell phones have negative effects on human health and the environment. An English brain surgeon, professor Vini Khurana says that the waves cell phones emanate are far more harmful than smoking or asbestos. Prof. Khurana adds that the percentage to get brain cancer for those who use the cell phone for more than 10 years is double than those who don’t use it. And it’s actually takes 10 years for a brain cancer to get developed. He says that in the next 10 years it’s expected an increase in brain cancer cases around the world.
If we go back to what’s going on in Turkey, I recently read that in Tuzla (suburbs of Istanbul) a cell phone company wanted to build a base station for 3G phones. The local people are against it and they literally closed the ditches that were digged. They say it’s not fair not to ask the opinion of those who live in that area. They went both to municipality and to government places but no one seemed to know that a company were to build there a base station. At the end, the local people sued the company. Isn’t that amazing? I mean I found it so, because in Istanbul in places where many “intellectuals” live it’s rare to see this solidarity.
Another professor from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Selim Seker says that instead of 1 base station there will be 9. In England for instance, with the coming of 3G phones between 50.000 and 70.000 more base station had been built. And this means, more radiation, more magnetical pollution! They did some researches about the UMTS system (which is found in 3G phones) in Sweden and found out very damaging results on human health. In Germany, they say there are more and more obese and allergic children.
It is also proven by scientific researches that children who play within 300 m. distance to a base station carry % 500 more risks to get cancer compared to other kids. I don’t know about what is the situation in Europe or the US (Please tell me if you know anything on this) but in Turkey we see them nearby the hospitals, schools and parks. I saw one recently in front of a quite famous private hospital called Florence Nightingale – see in the picture below.
Picture 2 and 3 - Pay attention to the two circular pieces on the streetlamp.
Do people buy these because it’s trendy and “cool” or is there a psychological illness we are face to face: “impulse control disorder” and we are “born to buy”. I’m not a psychologist but what I see in people is that it’s not easy to control this! And marketers know it quite well! I actually feel behind the message they want to deliver, there is that “we are enough smart and willing to learn to want to be curious” as though this curiosity will take us to one of our most basic needs. In my view, the main vulnerable targeted ones are youngsters and women. Young people want love and attention and the mobile phone is the concrete object for this love. As the capitalism develops day by day we started to think our value is measured by how much we consume. Do we, women- buy products we need or are we forced to be in need to the products we buy? Shouldn’t we be cautious what adverts want us to believe: “a woman who purchases many things is the happiest one”. If we don’t buy things there is the feeling of failure. We feel failure that we don’t possess the cool hybrid car (as it looks more “environmental” this way), we feel deprived from a “dream” we are asked to be part in... As Annie Leonard asks us in her amazing short film called The Story of Stuff, “guess what percentage of total materials flow through this system is still in product or use six months after the date of sale in North America?” The answer is only % 1! It means that “% 99 of the stuff we run, we harvest, mine, process, transport in this system is trashed within six months”.
Finally, products do not love us back and I believe what is important is to instill the feelings of self-confidence that we are beautiful with what we have internally. I read that there are statistical findings on the negative power of consumer involvement. For instance people who are more envious of others, worry more about how much they have, have stronger desires to acquire money and possessions, and are more likely to be depressed and anxious. It’s interesting that materialism is corralated with depression and anxiety as well as lower self-esteem. Though I have hopes... We can think well enough before we buy anything, we can use our imagination to transform materials and we can still learn from our grandma/an elderly woman in the family or in our community about being resourceful.
 I recommend you to read Juliet Schor’s book: “Born to buy”, Scribner, 2004.