10 Common Myths & Misconceptions About Technology You Use Every Day

10 Common Myths & Misconceptions About Technology You Use Every Day

Since the invention of the first lightbulb, humanity has come a long way. Today, technology surrounds us in each and every corner. It plays a vital role in every field. Whether it be medical, mechanical or musical, the components and equipments help us create something unique and wonderful. We consider technology to be an integral part of our lives (some might say essential). As new techniques and devices are invented every day, complexity, misconceptions and misunderstandings increase along with them. With no technical proofs to back up their claims, some spread rumors and technical myths. Here, we have collected ten of the most common myths that has been circulating around the internet and dispel them. If you think of others that you feel should be mentioned in this list, let us know in the comments section. These are the top 10 myths and misconceptions about technology we use every day.

Myth: Refreshing the desktop screen makes your computer work faster

Do you refresh your desktop? Of course, we all do. Refreshing the desktop is perhaps one of the biggest computer myths among all Windows users.

Myth, Technology, Refresh, Computers

Truth: We have the habit of refreshing our desktop screens whenever the computer starts lagging. Even if we are not encountering any issues, we still have an urge to right-click on an empty area and press that refresh button 20 times. From one generation of clueless Windows users to the next, the obsession with the refresh button has been passed down with no solid explanation. Some people assume that refreshing clears the RAM and makes the computer smooth and easy again. But what does the refresh button actually do? It simply redraws the icons on the desktop. That’s it! It does not clean your RAM, it does not make your computer smooth, and in fact, it has no effect on the performance of the computer whatsoever. (source)

Myth: In order to take good pictures, you need cameras with a lot of megapixels

The world of photography has expanded massively within the last few years. An average of 60 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day and there are 600 million monthly active users on the app.

Megapixel, Technology, Camera, Photography

Truth: Crazy isn’t it? Even though the technology we use to capture images has advanced, the myths surrounding them are still stuck in our heads. Millions of people waste money every year because of this one myth: “The more megapixels a camera has, the better the pictures”. This is in fact a huge lie. Camera companies and camera stores understand this and continue to exploit on our misunderstanding.

What is a megapixel? It is one million tiny colored dots in a photo. So, the more tiny colored dots, the sharper the photo. The truth is that a perfect image is entirely dependent on the camera’s lens, circuitry, sensor, composition and lighting. (source)

Myth: You should never ever put metal in the microwave

How many of you have accidentally left a metal (utensil?) inside a microwave and freaked out when you saw sparks inside? I sure have!

Microwave and metals
Image Source: YouTube

Truth: Putting objects with metallic nature inside a microwave can be dangerous, but what if we told you that it is not as harmful as you were led to believe? Some metals are perfectly fine to be inside a microwave. In fact, the microwave itself has metal components inside it. Huffpost Science conducted an experiment which proved that the type of metal and the shape of the object really matters when using a metal utensil in a microwave. Spoons are generally okay but forks can create sparks due to negative charges that build up in the tines. Depending on the rest of the components inside the microwave, the sparks could cause a fire. Even if the sparks do not cause a fire, it could still damage the inside of the microwave and make it unsafe to use. (source)

WARNING: Despite this knowledge, it probably isn’t a great idea to load your microwave with silverware or other metals. We at Mind Blowing Facts will not be held responsible for any damages that result from such actions!

Myth: Using cellphones for too long gives you brain cancer

It is true that cell phones emit radiation and it is absorbed by human tissue. What cell phones emit is “non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation”, the same kind that comes from microwaves.

Cell phone radiation causes cancer
Image Source: 1, 2

Truth: Since the creation of the first cell phone in 1973, there has been a widespread myth that cellphone radiation is directly linked to brain cancer. The signals emitted by cell phones are “non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation”, not “ionizing radiation”, which is an important difference. According to the National Cancer Institute, exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation increases the risk of cancer. Many studies conducted on non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which is emitted from radars, microwave ovens and cellphones, show that there is no link between them. In order for cancer cells to be formed in a body, sufficient amount of DNA damage must be done; something that non-ionizing radiation does not cause. (source)

Myth: Video games ruin children

We grew up hearing our parents yell about how bad gaming is for us. Though our parents were successful in convincing us, science isn’t convinced about this theory.

Video Games, children, playing

Truth: The University of Glasgow conducted a study in 2013, focusing on data spread over a period of 10 years. The study on 11,000 children concluded that consumption of video games and television doesn’t result in significantly altered behavior. In fact, the study yielded that children who played video games for at least an hour a day were happier and well adjusted than those who didn’t. The University is still conducting research on determining whether violent games have a direct or indirect link in altering behavior. (source)

Myth: Incognito mode in Chrome hides your search results from everyone

Even though it is common knowledge that going incognito in Chrome doesn’t hide you from the rest of the world, many people still believe in this myth. You’re not very incognito in incognito mode.

Incognito mode

Truth: Modern browsers allow its users an option for increased privacy. They go by different names such as, Incognito Mode in Chrome, Private Browsing in Firefox and Opera, InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge and Private Window in Safari. Chrome is the most popular choice for a browser, and a surprisingly high percentage of people still believe that going ‘incognito’ hides all of their activity from prying eyes. Even Google has made it clear in their description but many fail to read or understand it. Basically, what incognito mode does is stop your browser from saving cookies, temporary internet files or your browsing history. It is simply an option to hide your browsing history from others who have access to your computer. (source)

Myth: If you recharge your phone and laptop batteries before fully draining them, they’ll lose the ability to take a full charge.

This may have once been true but today, the technology used to make batteries are more advanced than those used in the past. Today, most devices are powered using lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer cells, making it far less of an issue.

Charging phone

Truth: The myth that rechargeable batteries have to be fully discharged before being charged again has no scientific evidence to back it up. This used to be true when devices were powered using older nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride rechargeable cells. Since companies like Apple and Samsung started using lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer cells for powering their devices, this was no longer an issue. According to Apple,

“You can recharge a lithium-ion polymer battery whenever convenient, without requiring a full charge or discharge cycle.”

According to Walker Ford, senior electrical engineer for Goal Zero, constant “deep cycles” (a complete drain of your battery) is rough on batteries and can decrease their performance over time. Regardless of how you use it, a regular smartphone battery should retain near full potency for around 2 to 3 years. (source)

Myth: Magnets have the ability to erase data from hard drives and flash drives

This statement used to be true, when the world was still using vulnerable floppy disks. Most modern devices such as SD and CompactFlash memory cards are immune to magnetic fields.

Magnet and flashdrive

Truth: Flash drives or CompactFlash memory cards have nothing magnetic inside. So, introducing the devices to a magnetic field would not erase or corrupt the data inside. According to Bill Frank, executive director of the CompactFlash Association,

“A magnet powerful enough to disturb the electrons in flash would be powerful enough to suck the iron out of your blood cells.”

The same goes with hard drives. The only way to erase data in a hard drive or flash drive is to overwrite it with new data. (source)

Myth: Using cellphones on a plane interferes with navigation and disrupts communication systems of the aircraft

Right before taking off or landing, the flight attendants make you put away your electronics. Why do they do that? Are they making sure that the devices do not interfere with the navigation or communication systems?

Using phone inside an aircraft

Truth: According to a veteran pilot who doesn’t wish to be publicly known, cell phones and most avionics do not conflict. He explains that,

“It’s for making sure [we] have people’s attention and for [individual] safety. If I have to hit the brakes and abort a takeoff, I don’t want a laptop or cellphone flying across the cabin.”

But the Federal Aviation Administration that regulates cell phone use in a plane has a different view towards this. According to Paul Takemoto, the electronics guru of FAA, “The concern is that cell phones would conflict with onboard avionics.” The Civil Aviation Authority ran tests using simulated cell phone signals in a chamber (but not an actual aircraft) and discovered that in several instances, the compass froze, some instruments displayed errors and audio communications were unclear because of interference. Until further studies and tests prove otherwise, the FAA says that they would stick to the side of caution. (source)

Myth: Macs do not require antivirus software since they are not affected by viruses

Of course, macOS is more secure than Windows operating systems, but if you are someone who is concerned about security, you might want to install an antivirus software for your Mac.

Macbook Pro, Malware
Image Source: Wikimedia

Truth: Generally, Mac’s are considered to be safer than Windows. This is because Mac has a smaller market share than Windows and malware writers are less likely to target them. Also, Mac’s operating system is Unix-based, which means that it offers a number of security features built in. To make their devices even more secure, Apple has included a number of security measures that makes attacks on the system challenging. One of the best security measures is Gatekeeper, which blocks any third-party software that hasn’t been digitally signed and approved by Apple from running in your system without your permission.

However, there have been several instances where Macs were the main targets in attacks. Macs have been known to be affected by trojans, malware, and ransomware. Some examples of viruses include MacDownloader, Word macro virus, Fruitfly, KeRanger, Safari-get, Touch Bar hacks, e.t.c. (source)

Also read: This $43 Million Worth Of Treasure Could Be Yours – If You Can Crack These Codes

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