Electromagnetic radiation does not concern generation Z…
Üsküdar University Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception (EREP) Research drew attention with its interesting results. In the research conducted with 1187 people between the ages of 18 and 72, the Z generation, called the "social media generation", had low perceptions of electromagnetic radiation and exposure to it. As the age increases, awareness, conscious, level of anxiety and the perception of taking precautions towards it increase. While the social media generation is the generation that does not worry the most, the perception levels of taking precautions are also lower than the other generations. Experts invite young people to be wary of electromagnetic radiation emitted by technological devices such as mobile phones and air pods, which are frequently used by young people.
Üsküdar University Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception (EREP) Research drew attention with its interesting results
Üsküdar University conducted a research entitled "Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception" with 1187 participants in Türkiye. Üsküdar University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Dean Prof. Osman Çerezci and Faculty of Communication, Department of New Media and Journalism, Lecturer and Scale Development Coordinator Assoc. Prof. Aylin Tutgun Ünal carried out the research.
1187 people participated in the research
In the study, data were collected with the "Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception Scale (EREP-S)". 1 thousand 187 people between the ages of 18-72, who were formed by random sampling and according to the principle of voluntarism, participated in the research electronically.
The perception level of the younger generation is low
Üsküdar University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Dean Prof. Osman Çerezci stated that the research was analyzed with the thematic meanings of "awareness", "consciousness" and "concern" and said, "From the research report, different perceptions of EMR exposure have emerged, especially according to age and education level. It is noteworthy that the perception level of the young generation regarding electromagnetic radiation exposure is low.”.
Prof. Osman Çerezci: “Electromagnetic radiation pollution threatens humanity”
Stating that technological developments make people addicted to many electronic devices due to the convenience they provide to life, Prof Osman Çerezci said, “Electromagnetic radiation pollution emitted to the environment while using electrical devices is rising towards a new environmental problem that can affect human health. People enter the atmosphere of electromagnetic pollution, which is the environmental waste of the digital world, depending on the frequency of use of mobile phones, base stations and other communication tools.”.
Prof. Osman Çerezci: “An epidemic spreading from the digital world”
Noting that the sensitivity approaches of countries that apply limit values against electromagnetic field pollution, are different, Prof. Osman Çerezci said and warned that “It is discussed whether the electromagnetic radiation exposure limits can give the same level of confidence to all segments of the society. The World Health Organization has determined electromagnetic fields as class 2B carcinogens. In order not to experience health problems caused by long-term electromagnetic radiation exposure, it is important to be a conscious technology user, that is, to take individual precautions. It should not be forgotten that electromagnetic pollution is an epidemic spreading from the digital world.”.
Prof. Osman Çerezci: Awareness work should be done for the younger generation
Prof. Osman Çerezci emphasized that the fact that the younger generation will be more affected by EMA throughout their lives in parallel with the rapid development of technology is a risk that should be considered for our young people in education age. Prof. Çerezci said, “For this reason, it is important to carry out awareness work for our children in their education age. This survey study can be considered as a call to cooperate with the Ministry of National Education to contribute to the growth of healthy generations. Where is EMR? At school, at home or in our office? EMR is everywhere. It is time to become aware of EMA exposure, to be aware of it and to take the right practical action to protect the health of ourselves and our families.”.
Assoc. Prof. Aylin Tutgun Ünal:
Faculty of Communication, Department of New Media and Journalism, Assoc. Prof. Aylin Tutgun Ünal stated that they have discussed the use of digital technologies, mobile phone usage habits and the effects of social media in terms of disciplines such as communication, sociology and psychology, and said:
“This perception study, in which communication technologies are examined in terms of electromagnetic radiation exposure, was an important step in raising awareness. Within the scope of this research, we developed a valid and reliable EREP Scale with which we can measure the Perception of Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure in cooperation with social sciences and engineering science. In this research, the low perception of electromagnetic radiation and exposure of the Z generation, which we call the social media generation revealed that they must be aware of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by technological tools such as mobile phones and air pods, which are frequently used by young people. On the other hand, the research data can provide a road map for new studies to be carried out.”.
The average age of the participants in the study is 29.6
1,187 people which consist of 61.1% women (725 people) and 38.6% men (458 people), participated in the research. The average age of the participants, whose ages ranged from 18 to 72, was 29.6. 31.5% of the participants were married and 67.8% were single. Their educational status was determined as 62.8% university, 5% graduate, 4% college, 5.1% high school, and 1.6% primary education.
Questions were asked about the usage of technology
In addition to the EREP Scale developed in the research, demographic questions were also asked about the purposes of mobile phone usage, usage habits of mobile phones, headphones and other electronic devices, time spent on social media and awareness of electromagnetic radiation.
The average score of the participants was 34.9
The average score of 1,187 participants from the "Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception Scale" attended the study was found to be 34.9. Scores obtained from the scale are evaluated as “Low Level” in the range of 11-25, “Mid-Level” in the range of 26-40, and “High Level” in the range of 41-55 points. Accordingly, 34.9 points obtained in the study revealed a "moderate" perception.
When the scores obtained from the dimensions in the scale were examined, the average score obtained from the "Awareness" dimension consisting of four items was found to be 13.23. The average score obtained from the "Consciousness" dimension consisting of the other four items was found to be 13.57. The score range of both dimensions evaluated as “Low Level” in the range of 4-9, “Intermediate Level” in the range of 10-15, and “High Level” in the range of 16-20. Accordingly, the awareness of 1,187 people participating in the study about electromagnetic radiation exposure is at a moderate level; therefore, consciousness was found to be moderate.
It was asked how the base stations felt
When the items related to awareness in the scale are examined, expressions, such as “I think that electromagnetic radiation emitted from base stations near my house will affect my family”, “I would be worried if there was a high voltage line very close to my house”, “Electromagnetic pollution is an environmental problem that I always worry about”, “I stay away from devices emitting electromagnetic radiation as much as possible” were included in the scale.
Moderate anxiety detected
When the items related to consciousness in the scale are examined, expressions, such as “I think that children should not play in parks with high voltage, base stations and transformers”, “I use hair dryer less to protect myself from electromagnetic radiation”, “I do not want to buy or rent a house near high voltage lines and base stations”, “Air pods (wireless) on my mobile phone I prefer wired headphones instead” were included in the scale. On the other hand, the average score obtained from the "Worry" dimension was found to be 8.15. Accordingly, the score obtained is evaluated as “Low Level” in the range of 3-6, “Mid-Level” in the range of 7-11, and “High Level” in the range of 12-15. Accordingly, 8.15 points taken from the anxiety dimension in the study showed that there is a moderate level of anxiety and there is a moderate perception of taking precautions due to this anxiety.
It showed that women are more conscious while men are more anxious
Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception was also examined according to various variables. In the examination based on gender, the consciousness score of women was found to be higher than that of men. Accordingly, it was revealed that women were more conscious of electromagnetic radiation exposure than men. However, it was concluded that men were more anxious than women according to the anxiety dimension and their perceptions of taking precautions were higher. It has been observed that women's electromagnetic awareness, consciousness and perception levels in general are higher than men's, and perceptions of anxiety and taking precautions are higher in men.
As the age increases, the level of perception also increases
In the examination based on age, participants’ age was divided into three generations as 18-29 (Social media generation); 30-45 (Television belt) and 45-72 (Radio generation) and it was compared. It has been revealed that the level of perception of electromagnetic radiation exposure increases with increasing age. In the comparison, the generation with the highest level of perception was found to be people over the age of 45, which is called the radio generation. Then, the perception level of the television generation, that is, the people in the 30-45 age range, was found to be high.
Generation Z is not worried
The generation with the lowest level of Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception was found to be the social media generation (18-29 years old). It was observed that awareness of electromagnetic radiation exposure, consciousness, level of anxiety and perception of taking precautions increase as age increases. Since the social media generation is the most worry-free, perception levels for taking precautions were lower than other generations.
Exposure perception increases as education increases
Perception of electromagnetic radiation exposure (EREP) by education level was found to be the highest among the participants at the graduate education level. When the participants with postgraduate education and the participants with university education were compared, a significant difference was found. The level of awareness and perception of people with graduate education was found to be higher than those at university. In the ranking, the highest EREP level was postgraduate, the second was high school, and the third was college. It was determined that university students were in the last place at the EREP level.
Most attendees keep their cell phone at bedside
The question “Do you keep your cell phone at your bedside?” was also asked in the research. More than half of the 1,187 participants (55.8%) answered "often". Those who said sometimes were found to be 29.7%, while those who said never were found to be 2%. In the comparison made according to the scale, the perception of electromagnetic radiation exposure decreased as the frequency of keeping the mobile phone at the bedside increased. It was observed that the people with the highest level of perception, namely awareness, consciousness and anxiety, answered "never" to this question.
Use of wireless headphones was also asked
When the question “Do you use air pods (wireless) headphones on mobile?” was asked, 31.1% of the 1,187 respondents said “often” to the question. Those who said sometimes were 27.6%, while those who said never were 41.1%. In the comparison made according to the scale, it was found that the EREP perception level and related awareness, consciousness, and anxiety-related precaution perception were the highest in those who used wired headphones on their mobile phones, and those who preferred air pods (wireless) were found to be lower.
When the question “Is there a high-voltage line very close to your house?” was asked, the most common answer was “I do not know” with 47.2%. In the second place, “no” was said with 44%. 8.5% of the participants said “yes”. In the comparison made according to the scale, the awareness of those who stated that there was no high voltage line near their house was found to be high. Those who said "I do not know" or "yes" had significantly lower levels of awareness, consciousness, and anxiety.
Half of the participants pull the plug on their way out
When the question “Will you unplug electronic devices when you go out?” was asked, 51.1% of the respondents said “yes” to the question. 28% said "sometimes" and 20.8% said "no". In comparison to the scale, it was seen that the level of awareness increased as the frequency of unplugging electronic devices while going out increased. Compared to those who said yes and sometimes, those who said no had lower levels of awareness, consciousness and anxiety.
Those who suffers from headache has the low exposure perception
When the question “How often do you have headaches?” was asked, 67.6% of the respondents said “sometimes” to the question. 16.3% answered “often”. Accordingly, the rate of participants who had headaches sometimes and often was 83.9%. Only .2 percent of respondents said “never”. It was determined that those with frequent headaches had the lowest score on the scale, that is, their perception of electromagnetic radiation exposure was lower. Especially in the dimension of concern, those who have frequent headaches have a low score, in other words, low anxiety, and accordingly, their perceptions of taking precautions are also low. On the other hand, it was determined that those who said "never" to headache frequency had a high level of anxiety and high precautionary perceptions.
Half of the participants in the study connect to social media for 1-3 hours
Those who answer the question “How long do you connect to social media per day?” 1-3 hours are 49.2%. Those who were connected for 4-6 hours a day were 28.2%, and those who were connected for less than 1 hour were determined as 5%. Those who connect to social media for more than 7 hours a day were found to be 6.8%. In the comparison made according to the scale, the level of electromagnetic radiation exposure decreased as the daily social media usage time increased. Those who used less than 1 hour a day had the highest perceptions of awareness, consciousness and anxiety-related precautions. The lowest level of awareness, consciousness and anxiety was seen in those who used it for more than 7 hours. It was then followed by 4-6 hours.
Mobile phones are used to connect to social media
When it is asked which device is used to connect to social media, the highest rate (92.9%) was said to be mobile phone. Only 4.4% answered portable computers and 2.2% desktop computers. The mobile phone was found to be the most preferred device for connecting to social media.
What are mobile phones used for?
For what purposes and how often the mobile phone is used was also examined. It was found that frequency of making calls as 62.2% frequently; 25.6% sometimes; 7.6% rarely and 3.5% never.
Texting frequency was found as 57.9% frequently; 20.1% sometimes; .8 rarely and as 4.2% never.
Frequency of taking photos was found as 41.5% frequently; 33.9% sometimes; ,3 rarely and 3.5% never.
Frequency of taking a video was found as 33.7% rarely; 29.1% sometimes; 26.1% frequently and 4.8% never.
Frequency of listening to music was found as 51% frequently; 21.3% sometimes; ,1 rarely and 7.2% never.
Frequency of watching movie was found as 27.9% rarely; 23% frequently; 22.2% sometimes and 2% never.
Frequency of attending online meeting was found as 35.4% rarely; 22.7% sometimes; 21.8% never and 9.2% frequently.
Frequency of texting/video calling on WhatsApp was found as 55.8% frequently; 25.3% sometimes, 8% rarely and 4.2% never.
Frequency of using social media applications was found as 65.4% frequently; 20.6% sometimes; 7% rarely and 4.6% never.
Alarm setting (Alarm clock) frequency was found as 62.5% frequent; 1% sometimes, 9.1% rarely and 6.1% never.
Frequency of using for e-mail was found as 42% frequently; 25.5% sometimes; ,3 rarely and 8.1% never.
Therefore, it has been determined that the mobile phone is mostly used for basic use (making calls, writing messages), as well as for listening to music, messaging / video calling on WhatsApp, using social media applications and using alarm clock applications.
Details of the research
The Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure Perception Scale (EREP-S) is a valid and reliable 11-item and 3-factor scale developed by researchers. A score between 11 and 55 can be obtained from the scale. Accordingly, as the score increases, the risk perception of electromagnetic radiation exposure also increases. The first four items in the scale measure the level of perception in the "Awareness" dimension, the following four items in the "Consciousness" dimension and the last three items in the "Anxiety" dimension. Thus, the EREP Scale, which can be used to determine the level of perception towards awareness, consciousness and anxiety, was developed for the first time in Türkiye by combining the fields of Engineering and Social Sciences, and it has participated in the literature as a scale that can measure risk perception for electromagnetic radiation exposure.
Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)