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The Video Game Industry Is Growing: Here Are 4 Ways Brands Are Reaching Gamers
And, with the growth of live streaming, mobile gaming, AR, and VR, this number could get even bigger.
While Twitch.tv, the leading live-streaming platform, hosts millions of users that air video feeds of themselves gaming, many smartphone users also find themselves tapping into multiple mobile games per day.
Right now, it seems like there’s a video game or gaming platform for everyone. And as many of these games and game systems are beginning to use emerging technology, marketers are getting even more aggressive in this space.
Although big companies are looking at in-game marketing tactics more than ever, the interest in reaching gamers actually isn’t that new. In fact, video game marketing precedes some of today’s most popular video game consoles. While brand awareness strategies have evolved in this space, they’ve nearly always been there.
On top of the opportunities that emerging media might offer marketers in the video game industry, gaming audiences also mirror target audiences of many consumer-facing brands. This means video gaming platforms could be a great place for brands to connect with their target audiences.
Gamers are primarily millennials, evenly split in gender, and have aged with the gaming industry. While they were children when the earliest, less-sophisticated games came out, millennials have become very tech-savvy and have embraced today’s more innovative gaming platforms.
Because of their age, millennials also able to make both big and small purchasing decisions in their households. At this point in their lives, millennials can buy or lease a wide range of products, from soft drinks to mobile devices, to cars. This is one reason why marketers zone in on mediums where this age group is prevalent, such as the gaming space.
Along with newer gaming content, millennials also respond well to games that make them feel nostalgic. One example of this was the successful release of the Nintendo Switch, a game system modeled after the 1980s Nintendo. Within 21 months of its launch, 8.7 million Switch units were sold — making it the fastest-selling gaming console of all time.
As marketers read about the possible opportunities associated with video game marketing, they might wonder how brands are actually using this medium to promote products. They also might be asking, “Is this strategy even accessible to me?”
In this post, I’ll discuss the evolution of video game marketing, show a few examples of how brands are innovating in the space today, and note some tactics that marketers might want to consider if gaming does become more accessible in the far-term.
While in-game promotion probably won’t be viable for most brands in the short-term, another new platform, such as a viral social media site, might inspire you to get creative with your marketing techniques. Even if marketers can’t replicate the strategies below today, they can still use the campaigns as examples of how companies thought outside the box to engage audiences on a new or emerging platform.
To give some added perspective on how much the gaming industry has changed, I’ll start by noting some of the earliest video game marketing examples.
A Brief History of Video Game Marketing
In the early 1990s and 2000s, big brands zoned in on young gamers by creating branded video games. Two memorable companies that did this were Chex Mix and Burger King.
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Chex Mix’s Chex Quest (1996)
In 1996, as children were starting to play video games on their parents’ PCs, Chex decided to engage its young audiences by placing a CD-ROM game called Chex Quest at the bottom of Chex Mix boxes.
In the intergalactic game, players controlled a space hero called “Chex Man” as he fought off green aliens who would cover their enemies with goo. The game featured multiple levels of difficulty and challenges, including an alien-filled maze. To maintain Chex Man’s strength and health when fighting off aliens, players needed to search for and direct him to foods like fruits and boxes of Chex Mix.
On a deeper level, the game told a commercial-like story of how heroes and astronauts are fueled by healthy breakfasts, like Chex Mix. This game was not only creative, but it also won many prominent advertising awards. In 1996, the video game won a Golden Effie for Advertising Effectiveness. It also won the Golden Reggie Award for Promotional Advertisement in 1998.
Burger King’s Branded Games (2006)
Ten years after Chex Quest, Burger King also identified that its audiences enjoyed gaming. In 2006, the restaurant chain began its first foray into the game world by including one of three branded Xbox games — PocketBike Racer, Sneak King, or Big Bumpin’ — in value meals. Customers could also buy the games for $3.99 each.
Each branded game, or advergame, featured the Burger King mascot along with a burger-related theme. Essentially, all of the games, which were created by the ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, were like interactive advertisements that entertained players and reminded them of Burger King.
For example, in Sneak King, players would step into the role of “The King,” who looks like Burger King’s mascot. Gamers then had to deliver Burger King meals to other characters. While the game entertained players, it also highlighted Burger King’s menu options and brand in great detail, similarly to a commercial.
Within the first weeks of Sneak King’s launch, approximately 2.7 million copies of the advergame were sold, making the campaign an ROI success and a win for Crispin Porter & Bogusky. The campaign also won a Clio Award after Burger King claimed it lifted the chain’s overall sales.
Here’s a trailer for Sneak King:
The Current State of Ads in Gaming
Games and consoles have changed drastically since Chex Quest and Sneak King. Not only do video games look more visually stunning, but many online games and Wi-Fi-powered consoles connect players and strangers from all around the world.
As the gaming space has evolved, so has video game marketing. While reaching gamers used to require marketers to create an entire branded video game, big brands are now able to re-work traditional strategies, like influencer marketing, product placement, and native advertising to fit into the gaming space.
Common Video Game Marketing Strategies
- Twitch Streaming
- Gamer Sponsorships
- Product Placement
- Mobile Ads
Twitch.tv, which was purchased by Amazon in 2020 and now has over 15 million daily active users, allows people to air a picture-and-picture stream of their computer or game console screen along with a webcam video of themselves.
If a person’s Twitch profile gets a large number of views and subscribers, they can apply to be verified as a Twitch Partner. Once they’re verified, Twitch will give them a small percentage of its advertisement revenue based on their stream’s views and the account’s subscriber counts.
Because of this picture-and-picture format, Twitch quickly became thought of as the social platform for gamers. Since this platform launched, normal people have earned major revenue and gained a huge online following just by streaming themselves playing popular video games.
When it comes to marketing on Twitch, there are two major options: One is to advertise and the other involves starting or sponsoring a stream.
While Twitch has been growing its advertising program since being purchased by Amazon, it recently began asking advertisers to commit upwards of $50,000 in ad spend per campaign. While Digiday reports that Twitch reps seem confident about advertising ROI, this is definitely a hefty cost for most companies.
Because advertising is quite expensive on Twitch, many brands have experimented with starting their own streams. Here are just three notable examples:
Wendy’s first Twitch stream, which won a Gold Clio, followed an avatar dressed as Wendy who appeared on the online battle game, Fortnite.
At one point in Fortnite’s online storyline, players were prompted to hunt cattle and transport beef to freezers at nearby restaurants. Once they did this, the players would earn coins.
When the Wendy’s team heard that Fortnite players were being encouraged to put beef in freezers, the chain tasked its marketing agency, VMLY&R, in creating an avatar that looked like Wendy. Wendy’s and its marketing firm then launched a Twitch stream where the avatar began to break into restaurants and destroy freezers:
Like a commercial, native ad, or advergame, the goal of the campaign — aside from engaging new audiences — was to remind Twitch audiences that Wendy’s makes an effort to serve the freshest, best tasting beef to its customers.
During the stream, mentions of Wendy’s on social media went up by 119%. The stream was also viewed for a total of 1.52 million minutes with a quarter of a million viewers.
The campaign also allowed Wendy’s fans to interact with her avatar and the stream, which led other Fortnite players to start smashing freezers as well. Viewers of Wendy’s stream also began tweeting about it or posting in the feed’s comment thread. Because of engagement like this, it made Wendy’s company values, brand, and live stream incredibly memorable to gaming audiences.
This campaign led Wendy’s and VMLY&R to win gold medals at the Clio Awards and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
According to one Cannes Lions Jury Chair PJ Pereira, the creativeness of this campaign might have opened the door for new marketing opportunities in the future.
“[Making Fortnite Fresher] was setting up a new trend instead of being the apex of a previous trend,” Pereira told Ad Age.
By hosting a nine-hour Twitch stream that followed its mascot playing Fortnite, Wendy’s interacted with gamers in a unique new way.
In 2020, Old Spice launched a stream that followed a dopey avatar named Nature Man who was “contractually obligated” to do what Twitch viewers told him to do as he walked around a computer-generated forest. As Twitch viewers commented with commands for the avatar, an Old Spice rep that was controlling him would make him fulfill these tasks.
At certain points of the Old Spice event, viewers told Nature Man to do things like chop down trees, fight multiple bears, and eat random birthday cakes. Here’s a quick highlight reel:
Although Old Spice’s live stream wasn’t directly about its products, it was still very in line with the brand’s 2020 commercials, which argued that its body spray “smelled as good as nature.”
In and before 2020, live streaming was still very experimental. But, like Wendy’s, Old Spice identified that many young male audiences were gaming on Twitch and decided to create an experimental campaign to engage them. This strategy seemed to work, as the stream received 2.6 million total views.
During a campaign called, “Live Free, Couch Hard,” Totino’s partnered with Twitch influencers to market its pizza rolls through various Twitch streams. In one of the Totino’s streams, which was produced with the help of its marketing firm, 72andSunny, a handful of Twitch stars with millions of subscribers tried to play video games on a couch that moved around like a bucking mechanical bull machine.
During Totino’s stream, viewers could watch the influencers attempt to play video games while also commenting to say which direction the mechanical couch should move next. Viewers could also comment with an emoji that looked like a pizza roll face created just for the event.
Here’s a highlight reel that one of the influencers posted on their stream after the event:
According to a post from Jason Donaldson, a senior writer for 72andSunny, the stream was watched for a total of 1.8 million minutes and it was the number one trending discussion topic on Reddit during the event.
Technically, the focus of Totino’s stream was on the notable gamers riding a mechanical couch, rather than on playing one specific game. However, the food company does a great job of identifying alternative content that gamers will still watch and subscribe to — even if they aren’t getting specific game tips.
For years, brands have embraced influencer marketing on various social platforms and in many media campaigns. In sports, you might see an athlete wearing running sneakers from a shoe company. In the makeup industry, you might see a vlogger giving a sponsored tutorial for a new lipstick. Now, as gaming has gotten more interconnected and social, influencer marketing is also starting to thrive in the video game industry.
As online gamers grow a following, brands now seek them out for endorsements or sponsored content. Here are a few examples:
Xfinity Comcast Sponsors Evil Geniuses
Along with sponsoring single gamers, big brands have also sponsored a number of online gaming teams.
Many of these teams successfully compete in ESports, a gaming category that includes online sports, competitions, or battle-oriented games.
In many major ESports games, players can compete individually or join a team. As they get better at a game, their game ranking amongst other online players will go up. Those who gain high rankings on ESports games often get recruited to better-performing teams or can even get sponsored by brands, similarly to real-life athletes.
Since 2020, Xfinity Comcast has sponsored an ESports league called Evil Geniuses. This league, which is now incorporated as its own company, is made up of top-performing gamers who’ve gained expertise and high rankings in ESports games like Call of Duty, Halo, Starcraft, and Rocket League.
As part of the sponsorship, the Evil Geniuses, which has a major gaming industry following, received a decked out Xfinity Comcast gaming studio. The Xfinity logo has also been placed on Evil Geniuses’ official website and added to uniforms that players wear on Twitch streams or at gaming events.
Evil Genius’s Twitter account also regularly mentions Xfinity or the sponsored gaming studio on its social media accounts.
Coca-Cola Sponsors Alex Hunter
For over 20 years, thousands of people around the world have been playing EA Sports’ FIFA World Cup video game series. The ESport game series releases a new World Cup game every year, which allows people to virtually play soccer with others around the world. Like other ESports games, players that get great scores will rise up in online rankings and might gain a following from fellow gamers.
Recently, a highly-ranked player from the 2020 FIFA video game, Alex Hunter, got sponsored by Coca-Cola. As part of his sponsorship, Hunter endorses Coca-Cola at real-life gaming events and dresses his avatar in all red. Hunter’s avatar was also featured in a Coca-Cola commercial where a child’s avatar offers him a Coke before he goes to play a virtual soccer game.
McDonald’s Products in Splatoon 2: Splashfest
Splatoon 2: Splashfest, a Nintendo Switch game created for all ages, opens by giving gamers a choice between two items, such as ice cream or cake. Each of the items that gamers can choose from has a hard color background. At the beginning of each game, users lock in the choice they want to make and get a paintball gun filled with paint that matches the background color of the item they chose.
In the recent Japanese release of Splatoon 2: Splashfest, there was a blatantly obvious product placement from McDonald’s. Gamers were asked to start the game by choosing between McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets or French Fries. The McNuggets were associated with red paint and the French Fries were associated with purple.
Here’s a quick video (in Japanese) where the hosts discuss which item they think is better to ramp up players before they make their choice.
During the game, 71% of those players joined the French Fry team, but the Nugget team surprisingly covered the field with more paint. It’s not clear how many people were playing the game, however Splatoon 2 sold over 2 million copies by 2020.
This is a great example of a product placement because it feels natural to players and allows them to think about and weigh the differences between two main products rather than just one.
Mobile Gaming Ads
Outside of PC or console-based video game marketing, brands are also putting major advertising dollars into mobile game ads.
While most people might think that mobile gamers find ads annoying because they block the entire game, research shows that mobile game players are actually more receptive to ads than users of other mobile apps.
When I heard about this, I was pretty surprised myself. So, I conducted a quick survey using Lucid software to see if people were actually interacting with ads.
Out of a sample of 265 people, 70% said they’d tapped on an ad in a mobile phone game before.
This Survey was conducted with Lucid Software
Right now, there are a few major ad strategies related to mobile games. One is a standard native ad that links to a business’s website. Another is an interactive ad that lets viewers tap and interact with the content in some way. Lastly, big brands like Starbucks are also beginning to experiment with location-based ads in AR games.
Here are a few examples of mobile game ad types that you might regularly see:
Interactive Mobile Ads
While Disney makes a host of mobile games related to their films, they have also invested millions of dollars into mobile game advertising. In one ad, which they launched to promote the film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” viewers were prompted to look for and tap a series of items as they watched the film’s trailer. Tapping on the ad sent them to more video-based content.
While the ad is no longer available to view online, AdColony’s Jude O’Connor described the interactive storyline in a post from The Drum,
“During the trailer, the user was prompted to play a search game and find objects within the trailer itself, tap the screen and it was almost like a playable ad experience,” said O’Connor. “Then, when they were able to find additional pieces it unlocked new content, additional trailers for them, character content at the end of the video. The user then became part of the experience.”
AdColony, the agency which created the ad for Disney, does not specify results related to the ad, but has noted that it was a success. Here’s a Creative Showcase piece where the company goes into detail about what might have made the ad so effective.
Disney’s interactive mobile game ad strategy is smart because those playing video games want to be interactively entertained. While a standard ad might bore them, something interactive might interest them while in a gaming mindset.
Apple runs ads for Apple Music on a number of smartphone and tablet games. This ad is pretty simple and shows mobile gamers the Apple Music logo, an animated music symbol, and a description of the service that says, “Enjoy over 50 million songs. Always ad-free.” At the bottom of the ad is a CTA that says “Listen on” followed by Apple Music’s Apple Store Icon. Users can tap on the ad to be directed to Apple Music’s app store page,
Like many effective mobile ads, Apple’s design simply explains exactly what the service its selling does without overwhelming mobile viewers with too many words or visuals.
Tully, a financial advising and savings app and service, launched a simple and semi-interactive ad for mobile games. In the ad, you can swipe left to see the benefits of using Tully and screenshots of how the app works. At the bottom, you see a quick description of what the app does, it’s five-star App Store rating and a CTA button that says “Download.”
Tully’s mobile game ad is an example of how an ad can be simple but still interactive. Even though this ad probably didn’t take as much time to design as a more intricate interactive ad, it still allows the viewer to engage with it by swiping through different pages of it to learn more.
Augmented Reality Ads
As video games like Pokémon Go combine AR and geo-location to create a new style of mobile gaming experience, brands have also experimented with AR in-game ads. To date, a great example of this was Starbucks — which sponsored Pokémon Go locations.
In 2020, when Pokémon Go was going viral, the coffee chain teamed up with the game’s developers to mark 7,800 of its physical locations into Gyms or PokéStops on the AR map. When players entered a Starbucks Gym or PokéStop, they saw an ad for a limited-edition Pokémon Frappuccino.
Although Starbucks did offer a more traditional in-game beverage ad to players who arrived at its Gyms and PokéStops, the chain more importantly pulled in significant foot traffic from gamers before even revealing the beverage in the Go app.
By sponsoring Pokémon Go locations, Starbucks creatively leveraged an AR platform to entertain its customers and pull new audiences into its physical store.
Navigating Gaming and Emerging Mediums
While marketers shouldn’t just shift all of their resources to start their own version of Chex Quest, it can’t hurt to keep up with new mediums that might provide opportunities in the far future. While gaming might not be one of them, a new social media platform might be a great place to experiment with interactive content or other strategies that engage new audiences.
The examples above demonstrate how brands identified their audiences, learned about the platforms they were using and aimed to meet them on those platforms. As media continues to evolve, marketers at all company sizes will want to keep thinking of new strategies that will meet their prospects where they are — even if those audiences are on a somewhat newer platform.
Originally published Oct 21, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated November 19 2020
9 Reasons Why Making Assumptions is Dangerous
“When you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME”
I first heard these words of wisdom years ago when I was learning to drive. I’d made an assumption about what another driver was going to do. My driving instructor’s response told me my assumption was incorrect. He hit the brakes, and said those words. At the time, I didn’t fully understand what he meant, but thought it was intriguing enough to commit to memory.
These days, I get it.
Why assumptions start
It’s easy to make assumptions. All you need is incomplete information about a situation. And an unwillingness to ask the questions you need to complete the information. In the absence of complete information, you have to fill in the blanks yourself.
You fill in the blanks with YOUR interpretation of what you see or hear. Your interpretation comes from past experiences that seem similar. It comes from your past experiences, and also from those you’ve heard about from others.
Armed with your information, you connect dots that aren’t there. You can’t help doing this because you’re missing relevant information. In trying to make sense of the situation, you make connections between today and the past. Connections that don’t really exist. You jump to conclusions that are wrong.
When I was learning to drive, I saw a driver doing something, and assumed he’d do x next. He didn’t. He did y instead, making it likely I was going to hit him. Hence my instructor’s brake-hitting. Had I scanned what was around me for more information, I’d have seen x wasn’t possible. He had to do y.
How assumptions develop
If assumptions are incorrect when dealing with rational matters, ponder this. What happens when emotions come into play?
All hell breaks loose. You see, emotions arrive with many sensitive buttons. These buttons are the places where you got hurt in the past. Your memory has stored this past pain. And activates it whenever your nervous system recognizes anything that feels painfully familiar.
Once activated, you react as if you’re experiencing that same pain again. Your old pain feels as real today as it did when you got hurt. Your present situation doesn’t even need to be the same as the past one that hurt you.
When those emotional buttons get pressed, the resulting dot-connecting is rarely kind. The assumptions you make in this state have one thing in mind. Lashing out in some way. To repel or hurt someone with unkind and disrespectful words presented as fact.
What assumptions do
Behind these harsh words lie the original hurt. And an unwillingness to step up and own your part in it.
This is toxic for the people you’re lashing out at, and for you. The negative energy expressed with this can take a toll on health. Theirs and yours. And by pressing your pain buttons again and again, you deepen your hurt.
Why you should avoid making assumptions like the plague
- They’re an easy out. The path of least resistance is also the path of least growth.
- They stop you from taking responsibility for your life. Assumptions allow you to hide behind your version of the story. This means you don’t own your part in the true story. You prefer to blame others for your misfortune, rather than look in the mirror.
- They keep you stuck in the past. Assumptions rely on old information to fill in blanks and connect dots. Instead of expanding your horizons, you retreat into the past. Into your painful past.
- It’s lazy behaviour. Instead of asking questions to get the information you need, you jump to conclusions.
- They foster a negative mindset. Most assumptions are derived from old, painful information. This reinforces your innate negativity bias that dates back to prehistoric times. And keeps you thinking the world is a fundamentally hostile place.
- It’s toxic behaviour. To protect yourself from more hurt, you use your assumptions to lash out at others. This is bad for them, and you.
- They become a bad habit. The more you make assumptions, the easier it is to continue making them. You find it easier to relive past hurts to get missing information than to ask questions. Go figure!
- They deepen your pain. The more you pick at a sore, the more painful it gets. And it doesn’t get a chance to heal.
- Assumptions are ALWAYS wrong. I have a perfect record with the assumptions I’ve made. 100% of them have been wrong. And it’s hard to believe that I’m unique in this.
Life beyond assumptions
These days, instead of making assumptions, I ask questions. Lots of them. Even if this means finding out a truth that might be painful to hear. If my default behaviour kicks in and I start to assume something, I notice it. And nip it in the bud.
Since I started asking questions and stopped making assumptions, I’m much happier. I’ve managed to release much of my past pain by not activating it constantly. I’ve grown a lot from all the information I’ve gathered through asking questions. I enjoy conversations more because I’m not worrying about protecting myself. I’ve deepened my compassion for others by understanding the fears that lay behind their assumptions. I’m more positive. I’m more fun to be around.
If you think you’re pretty assumption-free, try this. Make a note of every assumption you make during an average day. And double it to count the ones you don’t notice.
If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised by the result.
Is Swagbucks Worth It? Here’s Our Official Swagbucks Review
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If you’re interested in earning extra cash, you’ve probably considered taking surveys online.
Taking surveys is a simple and effective way to pad your budget, and one site you can use to do that is Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is one of the more well-known survey-taking platforms and has been around for ten years.
But you should consider if it’s worth your time before you download the app and start using the platform.
There’s also more to Swagbucks than just taking surveys for extra cash.
What Is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a platform that allows users to complete surveys and perform other tasks to earn their branded virtual currency, called SBs. You can exchange SBs for gift cards and cash.
It’s a subsidiary brand of the media company Prodege, LLC along with three similar sites: MyPoints, ShopAtHome, and InboxDollars.
Since its start in 2020, Swagbucks has gained over 20 million users and paid out over $400 million in cash and gift cards to millions of users. Swagbucks’ reputation is well known in the online sphere and appeared in publications such as Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, and U.S. News & World Report.
- Variety of ways to earn SBs
- Low cash-out threshold
- Easy to use
- Multiple ways to access the platform (browser extension, website, app)
- Payouts and SBs earnings are small for the amount of work required
- Won’t always qualify for surveys
- Long wait time to get paid
Is Swagbucks Legit?
Swagbucks is a legitimate company that pays its users real money. It boasts a 4-star rating on Trustpilot with more than 13,000 reviews and has 8.3 TrustScore of 10.
Swagbucks’ parent company, Prodege, LLC, currently holds a B+ rating with the BBB. There are a few hundred complaints on Prodege’s profile, but there are zero unanswered or unresolved complaints.
How Does Swagbucks Work?
The Swagbucks rewards program is pretty straightforward.
First, you sign up for a free Swagbucks account. Once you’re a member, you earn rewards points, known as SBs, when you take surveys, play games, watch videos, use Swagbucks’ search engine, and shop online.
Cash out your Swagbucks for PayPal cash or gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Target, or dozens of other retailers. You’ll need at least 300 Swagbucks to redeem the lowest reward available, a $3 Amazon gift card.
The Swagbucks App
You can download Swagbucks Mobile on any Android or Apple device. The app is intuitive and lets you watch videos, shop, and answer surveys on your phone.
Swagbucks offers other apps, such as Swagbucks Live, which let you earn points for answering trivia questions correctly, and MovieCli.ps where you can watch the latest movie trailers for additional SB.
The SwagButton is an extension you can add to your Google Chrome browser. Whenever you shop online, it will search the Swagbucks database for coupons, codes, and cash-back opportunities at your chosen retailer.
By using this extension, you don’t have to shop through the Swagbucks website to take advantage of its deals. You can shop as you normally would and let the SwagButton alert you to available offers.
8 Ways to Earn Swagbucks Rewards
Swagbucks users can earn rewards in seven different ways. You can use only one method or pick several. It all depends on what you like to do and where you see the most value.
1. Take Swagbucks surveys
One of the more popular ways to make money with Swagbucks is through paid online surveys.
Major brands rely on companies like Swagbucks to get feedback from consumers. When you take a survey, those companies pay Swagbucks for your answers, and Swagbucks passes on some of their earnings to you.
When you first sign up for Swagbucks, you’ll fill out demographic information such as your age, income, and interests which Swagbucks uses to match you with surveys that are a good fit.
You’ll still need to answer pre-qualification questions to take the survey, and there’s a chance you’ll be disqualified. If that happens, you may end up with a small reward or no points at all.
Each day, you can find survey options in your account. The more accurate and complete your profile, the better your survey matches will be, which should mean less time answering pre-survey questions just to be disqualified.
Swagbucks offers three main survey options:
- Everyday surveys
- Daily survey
- Daily poll
The daily survey and poll renew each day. Daily polls are 1 question worth 1 SB. Other survey payouts range from 1 SB to 300 or more depending on the time required and value of the survey.
Occasionally, you may get the opportunity to earn as much as $50 for a single study. The higher the payout, the more time it will take to complete. Swagbucks’ website says users can expect to earn 40 to 100 SBs for the typical survey.
2. Watch videos
Swagbucks Watch isn’t the most lucrative way to make money, but if you find yourself consuming a lot of video content already, it could be a good way to earn rewards for something you already do.
You can choose from over 10 categories, including entertainment, fashion, health, food, and travel. When you click on a category, you’ll find a playlist of videos, and you’ll see how many SB that playlist is worth. Playlists are typically 15 or 30 videos and range from less than 30 minutes to more than an hour’s worth of content.
Most playlists are worth 1 or 2 SB. If you have multiple tabs open and click away from Swagbucks, the video will pause until you come back. However, you can watch the videos on a split screen, which gives you the ability to earn points with Swagbucks Watch while working on other things.
3. Get cash back
Swagbucks shopping works like Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates. When you shop through one of their links, Swagbucks receives a small commission. They pass on part of that commission to you as cash back.
For example, a 5% cash-back deal on Amazon means you’ll get 5 SB for every $1 you spend when you purchase something through a Swagbucks link.
The Swagbucks shopping page also offers coupons for local and online retailers. When you find a deal you like, just click the link that directs you to the company’s site where you can complete your shopping trip.
Sometimes Swagbucks offers multiplier deals for specific retailers. So if a store normally offers 1% cash back, but has a 10x deal, you’ll receive 10% cash back, or 10 SB, for every $1 you spend. There are no codes necessary for the multiplier deal.
It can take 30 days or more for your Swagbucks points to show up in your account depending on the retailer.
4. Use the Swagbucks search engine
This tool rewards users for searching the web with the Swagbucks search feature. You can even install the Swagbucks Search Chrome extension to make the site your default search engine.
The platform rewards points randomly. It’s unclear how many SB each search is worth, but the more you use Swagbucks Search, the more points you’ll earn.
5. Play games
Swagbucks offers a handful of free games that you can play for points. You’ll need to turn off any ad-blocking software and make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed.
Swagbucks also offers a number of popular games including Bejeweled, Solitaire, Bingo, Angry Birds Champions, and Slots. For these games, you can earn points for each dollar you spend on in-app purchases.
If you already like or spend money on computer games, then this could be a good way to earn cash back on your hobby.
6. Discover deals
With Swagbucks Discover, you can earn SB by signing up for free trials, donating to charities, downloading mobile apps, and more.
Not all offers are that high-value, but you can sort and filter to find the ones that make the most sense for your situation. If you want to earn points without spending money, you’re probably better off browsing the free offers section.
If you’re interested in exploring new brands and earning the highest rewards, you’ll want to check out the featured deals and sign-ups listings.
Not all of the offers are still valid, so you might have to search to find one that hasn’t expired.
7. Buy gift cards
This is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to earn with Swagbucks. When you click a link to buy gift cards on Swagbucks, you’ll be redirected to MyGiftCardsPlus.com, a Swagbucks-run site.
From there, you can buy gift cards from dozens of retailers and earn up to 10% back in SB. Once you make a purchase, your points will be added to your Swagbucks account within one to two business days.
Buying gift cards can be a great way to earn cash back on purchases you were going to make anyway. For example, if you already know you’re going to buy something from Bed Bath & Beyond, you can purchase a gift card from Swagbucks beforehand.
Now you’ve earned points on the purchase of your gift card, and you can earn even more points when you check out online.
8. Refer friends
If you enjoy using Swagbucks, you might want to encourage your friends and family to use it as well. You can make extra money by sending them your referral code. When they sign up and start using the site, you can make 10% in SBs on whatever they earn in a day.
For example, if your coworker registers using your referral link and earns 1000 SBs in a day, you’ll get 100 credited to your account. It’s one of the simpler, more passive ways to collect SBs.
Using Swagbucks is fairly simple, but the site’s offerings can seem complicated if you’re a new member.
How does Swagbucks make money?
Swagbucks makes money from companies and brands who pay them to advertise on the site and ask users to perform tasks on their behalf, like taking surveys and watching videos.
How often can I take surveys?
You can take surveys every day as long as you qualify for the ones offered.
How much money can I make with Swagbucks?
The amount you earn depends on the number of tasks you perform. It also depends on the value of those tasks. However, most of the tasks are not high-value, and it can take you a long time to earn the minimum amount to cash out (300 SB).
How long does it take to get paid?
It can take anywhere between 10 to14 days to receive payment or gift cards.
Alternatives to Swagbucks
Swagbucks isn’t the only survey-taking site on the market. You can also use Swagbucks and do surveys on other sites.
Inbox Dollars. InboxDollars works like Swagbucks in that users complete surveys, watch ads, and redeem cash-back offers. Like Swagbucks, you need to qualify for surveys before you can take them but unlike Swagbucks, they won’t send you them automatically. You’ll have to login or visit the website to complete questionnaires each day. It’s available as a website or an app.
Survey Junkie. Survey Junkie is another site that pays users to take surveys. Like Swagbucks, users can download an app, web browser, and register for email notifications about survey opportunities. However, unlike Swagbucks, users can only earn money through surveys, focus groups, and testing products. There are no shopping portals or search engines, and users must redeem their rewards in increments of $5.
Ibotta. Ibotta is a rebate app that lets users redeem cash-back offers at grocery stores, drug stores, and other retailers. Sometimes you’ll have to watch an ad or take a short survey before being able to add the offer for redemption, but there’s less work involved with Ibotta than Swagbucks. However, the options are more limited, and you must select the offers in advance.
Swagbucks Review Summary
The best way to use Swagbucks is to look for ways to fit it into your daily life. If you frequently shop online, then installing the SwagButton on your computer could help you cash in on easy rewards.
If you spend evenings watching Netflix while scrolling through Facebook, consider downloading the Swagbucks app and answering survey questions during that time.
Swagbucks isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. If you’re interested in earning cash back for things you already do, Swagbucks can be a great tool for the part. However, if it’s a high-earning side hustle you’re searching for, you should consider other work-from-home jobs.
Why 5G Cell Towers Are More Dangerous – Get The Facts!
All cell towers emit Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation. There are literally hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies from around the world that have linked this “non-ionizing” form of electromagnetic radiation to things like cancer, DNA damage (especially in infants and fetuses), and infertility. And Kevin Mottus of the US Brain Tumor Association says that within the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the higher the frequency, the more dangerous the radiation is.
5G Cell Towers are More Dangerous for Two Main Reasons:
- First, 5G emits “ultra high frequencies”. The higher the frequency, the shorter the length of each wave. This means more waves hit our bodies in the same amount of time. Previous cellular generations emitted from 1 to 6 GHz frequencies. 5G cell towers may emit frequencies as high as 300 GHz.
- Second, 5G technology requires “ultra high intensity”. Since the shorter length millimeter waves (MMV) used in 5G do not travel as far (and get obstructed easier), with our current number of cell towers the cell signal will not be reliable. To compensate 5G cell towers will have to emit the lower 3G & 4G waves as well, and many more “mini cell towers” will have to be installed. It is estimated that they will need a mini cell tower every 2 to 8 houses.All of this combined will greatly increase our RF Radiation exposure.
With RF Radiation, how close the source is to our physical bodies is more important than the power level (or wattage) of the radiation. RF Radiation dissipates with distance. In other words, a low powered exposure right next to someone, is more dangerous than a more powerful exposure a long ways away. Also the longer the exposure time is, the more dangerous it is. 5G will be the worst of both worlds. We will have more sources around us, and closer to us. And they will be more powerful and continuous emissions. (Related article “5G Health Risks Debunked – Get The Facts!“)
(Before we get into the rest of this article I just want to mention one thing. Many people that come to this site are also interested in emergency preparedness. If you are interested in this subject you might want to check out EmergencyPrepGuy.com. It has really good information on all types of emergency preparation.)
Table Of Contents:
- Mini 5G Cell Tower In Your Home
- What Is 5G?
- 5G Part Of Electromagnetic Spectrum
- 5G’s “Non- Ionizing” Radiation
- U.S. Military’s 5G “Active Denial System”
- Cell Tower Radiation Measured
- How Dangerous Is 5G Radiation?
- 5G Letters From 250 Scientists and Doctors
- Article Including Other Scientific Studies
Mini 5G Cell Tower In Your Home
Many people do not realize that they already have a mini cell tower emitting high levels of RF Radiation in their homes and offices right now. Some even have a 5G mini cell tower. We call them WiFi routers. Just like a cell tower, a WiFi router emits at full power 24 hours a day 7 days a week, or as long as you have it turned on. It’s range includes your entire home and beyond. It’s radiation is the exact same RF Radiation that a cell tower emits, or that your microwave oven uses to cook your food.
For example, my WiFi router is a Netgear 5 GHz router that emits both at the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies. A microwave oven uses 2.45 GHz frequency to cook food. The new 5G WiFi routers that are available now use the 60 GHz, 5 GHz and the 2.4 GHz frequencies. So having one of those routers is really like having a 5G mini cell tower inside of your home.
WiFi Router Guard
It is possible to protect yourself from the RF Radiation emitted by your WiFi router. By far the best way to protect yourself is to hard wire your home with Ethernet cables (preferably “low emf Ethernet cables”). Then you can turn off the WiFi completely so that your router does not emit any RF Radiation. (Warning: do not use “hard wiring” methods that send the internet signal over a building’s regular electrical wiring. This causes the wiring in your home to emit carcinogenic dirty electricity. You trade one form of harmful EMF radiation for another).
However if hard wiring your home with Ethernet cables is too costly, there is a very good alternative. In the picture to the above left you can see something called a Wifi Router Guard. By putting your WiFi router in one of these it will block between 90% and 95% of the RF Radiation they emit. And the amazing part is you will still be able to use the WiFi. In my case our WiFi does not seem slow anywhere in our 3 bedroom home.
In the below video I measure the amount of RF Radiation emitted by my 5 GHz Netgear WiFi router. Then I place it in a Wifi Router Guard and test it again so you can see how much RF Radiation it blocks. It is a short video but definitely worth watching.
If you don’t have the ability or resources to hard wire internet through your house, or if for some reason you must have WiFi, a WiFi Router Guard is a very effective solution. For more information on the WiFi Router Guard click this link Wifi Router Guard. Also for more information about other RF Radiation dangers inside your home, please see my article “The 7 Worst Radiation Dangers in Your Home”.
What Is 5G?
The “5G Hype” has been going on now for a few years. However 2020 and 2020 are the years that cellular carriers begin the process of rolling it all out. Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have all started installation of their networks, though widespread availability is still several years away. 5G is starting to get a foot-hold as 5G cell towers start to get installed in a dozen or so cities across the US.
5G is a technology that uses most of the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. In that range the radio waves are shorter in length, travel shorter distances, get obstructed much more easily, but can carry much more data. It is this more data part that has attracted the technology industry to 5G. More data means more capabilities.
Similar to how download speeds increased significantly when we switched from the 3G to 4G cellular networks. 5G promises to dramatically increase download speeds. Instead of taking hours to download a movie it can happen in just a minute or two. And this opens up the possibility of things like self driving cars, holograms and connecting every electronic device to the network.
5G Part Of Electromagnetic Spectrum
In the chart below you see what is called the “electromagnetic spectrum”. Both the “Radio waves” and “Microwaves” sections of the below chart are part of what is called the Radio Frequency (RF) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. So microwaves are just a higher frequency radio wave. And remember that within the RF Radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the higher the frequency the more dangerous the waves are to living organisms. (This is not the case in the infrared and visible light portions of the spectrum.)
In the above image it shows that the “Radio waves” section of the spectrum is wider than the “Microwaves” section. This is actually not an accurate depiction. Radio waves go from around 3 KHz (0.000003 GHz) to about 1 GHz, while Microwaves go from around 1 GHz all the way up to 300 GHz.
The “Radio waves” part of the above chart include things like sonar and AM & FM radio. The Microwaves part of the chart includes US Military crowd control weapons, microwave ovens, airport scanners, and the 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G cellular networks. 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G uses between 1 GHz and 6 GHz, whereas 5G is expected to use from around 24 GHz all the way up to 300 GHz.
5G’s “Non- Ionizing” Radiation
When you read articles on the internet about 5G health risks it really depends who wrote the article as to what opinion they give. It is really kind of sad. The most common theme that you hear from any technology or government website is that since Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation is a “non ionizing” form of electromagnetic radiation, there is no way it could be harmful to us.
For example there is a current article on the website HowToGeek.com which is a prime example of what I am talking about. It would almost be funny, if it were not so sad. In this article its author states: “It’s easy to find claims online that the greater frequency of 5G alone constitutes a risk. RadiationHealthRisks.com observes that “1G, 2G, 3G and 4G use between 1 to 5 gigahertz frequency.
5G uses between 24 to 90 gigahertz frequency,” and then asserts that “Within the RF Radiation portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the higher the frequency, the more dangerous it is to living organisms.” But asserting that the higher frequency is more dangerous is just that—an assertion, and there’s little real science to stand behind it. 5G remains non-ionizing in nature.” (As you can see in this statement they even quote us here at RadiationHealthRisks.com).
It is totally amazing to me how writers like this present themselves as experts. In the above quoted article they say “It sounds worrisome, but let’s take a look at the actual science” and then the author only uses one example of a scientific study, and skews what they actually found. In another quote from this article it reads “and there’s little real science to stand behind it”. They make this statement ignoring the hundreds and hundreds of very easy to find peer reviewed studies by unbiased scientists that show massive health problems resulting from “non-Ionizing” RF Radiation. They pretend to be the authority, but they are not giving correct information.
I list links to many of these studies on the scientific studies page of this website. I had a link to the scientific studies page of this website in the same article HowToGeek.com took their quote from. But they apparently did not bother to go there. They either have an agenda and are purposely trying to mislead, or they were just not very thorough in their research for their article. If you are interested in this subject I highly recommend you going to the scientific studies page of this website and research out this topic for yourself!
U.S. Military’s 5G “Active Denial System”
This link is an article about the US Military’s Microwave crowd control weapon called the “Active Denial System”. It disperses crowds by heating up their skins. It uses the 95 GHz 5G frequency to do this. This frequency is well below the 300 GHz frequency some 5G devices may use. And all of these RF Radiation frequencies are “non-ionizing”. The power level of this system is much higher, but it utilizes a frequency within the 5G range.
Cell Tower Radiation Measured
In the below video I am standing next to an office building that just had a huge cell tower built right next to it. From the office building I measure how much RF Radiation the cell tower is raining down upon the office building. I just cannot believe they build these things so close to people.
This particular cell tower is in a town that did not have 5G installed and functioning at the time of the above video recording. However cell towers like this in the future will emit 3G & 4G RF Radiation like I show in the video, as well as 5G frequencies. Plus as I mentioned earlier in this article they will have to install mini cell towers on light poles and buildings every 2 to 8 houses in order for the 5G signal to be reliable. The mini cell towers will also emit 4G and possibly some 3G signals as well, depending on the area and situation.
How Dangerous Is 5G Radiation?
5G Radiation is a high frequency form of Microwave radiation. A microwave oven cooks your food using the 2.45 GHz frequency. 5G frequencies are expected to range from about 24 GHz up to about 300 GHz. As mentioned earlier Kevin Mottus of the US Brain Tumor Association says that within the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes the 5G microwave range, the higher the frequency, the more dangerous the radiation is to living organisms.
In the below video is an expert in Microwave radiation and its health effects named Dr. Barrie Trower. Dr. Trower spent his whole career studying and learning about the biological effects of Microwave radiation. He is a British Physicist and began his career working with this radiation in the British Royal Navy and in the British Secret Service. There he learned about how it could be used as a weapon and what health affects it had in those scenarios. Later he became a professor and spent his life teaching and studying Microwave radiation. Barrie gets into the meat of Microwave health effects starting at about the 6 minute mark in the video.
In the below video Dr. Barrie Trower is interviewed by a man named Sir Julian Rose. In this video Dr. Trower goes into great depth as to what makes 5G much more dangerous than previous cellular network generations. This video is a bit long but is full of great information and very much worth watching!
If you have not already, please watch the above two videos and share this article on your social media websites. It is important that we educate ourselves with actual facts and spread the word. Thank you in advance for doing both!
5G Letters From 250 Scientists and Doctors
Here is a link to an article on EhTrust.org entitled “Letters From Scientists On The Health Risk Of 5G” which includes links to letters from over 180 scientists and doctors from around the world calling for a halt to the roll out of 5G cellular networks. Based on the peer reviewed scientific studies they have been involved in both for 3G & 4G RF Radiation, as well as in recent years their 5G peer reviewed scientific studies, they are predicting catastrophic health risks resulting from 5G cell tower and wireless networks.
In this article they start with a short video by a 36 year old man who developed neck cancer as a result of twenty years of cell phone use. In this video the man is testifying to attempt to halt 5G cell deployment in California. I highly recommend you go that article and watch that video. But the most important thing to do is to read the many letters from the 180 scientists and doctors and hearing what they have to say.
Below is an article written by a friend of mine I entitled “Article Including Other Scientific Studies”. I include it here because it is from the perspective of someone who was both excited about 5G technology as well as beginning to do their own research into the dangers of RF Radiation. She quotes some pretty good studies in this article and has some good information in it.
Article Including Other Scientific Studies
“In Germany, researchers studied 1000 residents who lived in close proximity to two cell phone towers for about 10 years. According to the study, during the last five years of the observations, researchers discovered neighbors living within 400 meters of the cell towers were diagnosed with cancer at a rate that was three times higher than those who lived much further away.
Another frightening study in 1994, well before 3G, 4G and 5G, links significant health problems with people living in a London apartment building with a cell phone mast on the roof. In this study, the cancer rate of those living on the top floor of the apartment building- the closet to the tower, had a cancer rate of 10 times the average in England.
If that isn’t enough to convince you there is a significant link between cell phone towers and health problems consider a recent study in Italy. In March 2020, the researchers at the world-renowned Ramazzini Institute released the shocking results of a large-scale study of lab animals exposed to cell tower radiation over a lifetime.
“The Ramazzini study exposed 2448 Sprague-Dawley rats from prenatal life until their natural death to “environmental” cell tower radiation for 19 hours per day. RI exposures mimicked base station emissions like those from cell tower antennas, and exposure levels were far less than those used in the NTP studies of cell phone radiation.”- ehtrust.com
NTP refers to the National Toxicology Program study that recently linked cell phone radiation to heart cancer in male rats. The Ramazzini study is the first to complete a study of this scale, over a significant period of time. Together, the studies make a strong argument for more guidelines and standards to protect public health. Health experts from around the world are weighing in on the significance of the findings and urging the World Health Organization to act.
“This study raises concerns that simply living close to a cell tower will pose threats to human health. Governments need to take measures to reduce exposures from cell tower emissions. Cell towers should not be near schools, hospitals or people’s homes. Public health agencies need to educate the public on how to reduce exposure from all sources of wireless radiofrequency radiation- be it from cell towers or cell phones or Wi-Fi in schools,” said Dr. David Carpenter, former Dean of the School of Public Health and the University of Albany.
“This is particularly urgent because current plans to place small 5G cell towers about every 300 meters in every street across the country. These 5G “small cell’ antennas will result in continuous exposure to everyone living nearby and everyone walking down the street. The increased exposures will increase the risk of cancer and other diseases such as electro-hypersensitivity,” said Dr. Carpenter.
The risk is very real. As Dr. Carpenter indicated, public health is at risk with plans for more and more smaller towers to go up on every street corner around the world.
According to experts, doctors and researchers, radiation has the power to change our bodies on the cellular level. These changes, as supported in several studies, create a perfect environment for cancer and other ailments to take over inside our body.
Other studies link cell phone and cell tower radiation to memory loss, headaches, changes in vision and mood, sleep disorders and leukemia. The rollout of 5G and the infrastructure to support it will only increase our risk of suffering major health issues down the road. See also “Is 5G Safe or Dangerous? Here are the Facts.”
5G: What Do The Studies Say?
As companies prepare to make 5G a reality, may doctors and scientists believe the technology will be a “massive public health experiment.”
According to Dr. Joel Moskowitz, a public health professor at the University of California, the increase in mini-cell towers across towns and cities is only part of the concern. Dr. Moskowitz says the lower frequency millimeter waves used in 5G could cause major skin, eye, and nervous system problems.
“The deployment of 5G, or fifth generation cellular technology, constitutes a massive experiment on the health of all species… Because MMWs are weaker than microwaves, they are predominantly absorbed by the skin, meaning their distribution is quite focused there. Since skin contains capillaries and nerve endings, MMW bio-effects may be transmitted through molecular mechanisms by the skin or through the nervous system,” said Dr. Moskowitz.
Dr. Moskowitz also believes that MMV can make some pathogens resistant to antibiotics.
Dr. Moskowitz is not alone in his concern about 5G. Dr. Yael Stein from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University recently wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission outlining his major concerns about 5G, MMV and how it could impact human skin.
Dr. Stein argues the human skin has the ability to absorb more than 90% of microwave radiation and will cause major problems from head to toe- especially for the vulnerable such as kids, elderly and pregnant women.
MMVs are also believed to cause physical pain. A recent article in Eluxe Magazine takes a deeper look at the issue. According to the article, MMVs could cause pain receptors to flare up in the human body, and cause great damage to our eyes, cell growth and compromise our immune system.
In fact, the U.S. Government currently uses MMV energy as a non-lethal weapon. This weapon is direct and more intense than the MMVs from a 5G network, however, it’s similar and concerning. According to the U.S Department of Defense, the active denial system creates a focused MMV beam that is capable of penetrating the skin, which can create a burning or a stinging sensation.
Some experts even argue 5G will have a devastating impact on our environment as well. A 2020 linked aspen leaf damage to MMV exposure. Some researchers also found MMV’s can cause cell damage in wheat plants, impact wildlife and affect our atmosphere.
Only time will tell how the 5G network will impact our health and the environment. We know existing cell towers are dangerous and with plans to build thousands, if not millions more- it could become very interesting. It’s clear though, MMVs are not safe for the general public- especially considering we will be exposed everywhere we go, even at home.
Ways to Reduce Exposure to 5G
5G is expected to be ready to go by 2020 so you have plenty of time to prepare and make plans to reduce your exposure to MMVs and other cell towers. Because 5G towers will be everywhere it will be difficult to avoid all exposure, so you’ll have to take care of your immune system and make healthy choices.
Boosting your immune system with natural fruits and vegetables is a great way to keep your cells healthy and keep diseases at bay. In addition to making healthy food choices, you can take several precautions around your home.
Some experts believe the best way to keep cell tower radiation from penetrating your home is to create a highly conductive enclosure around your home. So, what does this mean? It means first measuring the levels of radiation with HF35C meter. This meter will give you various levels throughout your home and determine what areas you need to focus on first. Right now, there are various window coverings, paints that will keep radiation from penetrating your home.
Many doctors suggest keeping your distance from the cell towers in question. This could be very hard to do given these 5G towers will be on every corner on every building. Unless you never leave the house, I don’t see this as being a realistic expectation.
I’m hoping there will be an app or map listing all the cell phone towers in every neighborhood, in every city across the world. This would certainly make it easier to know where the new 5G towers are located and how to avoid them when necessary. This information would be helpful to those who are exceptionally vulnerable to cell tower radiation such as children, infants, elderly and pregnant women.
Reducing Radiation In Your Home
While you can’t control where the cell towers go, you can control how and when you use your own cell phone. By limiting your time on your phone and using radiation blocking cases and shielding headsets, you can greatly reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation. Every little bit helps. Please see also our article entitled “ Why Are 5 GHz WiFi Routers More Dangerous? ”
Also, if you have an office- make sure you turn off your Wi-Fi router when you’re not using it. And keep your cell phone out of your room at night. Various studies link cell phone radiation to disruptive sleep patterns. When you don’t sleep well, it can throw off your entire day. By leaving your cell phone out of your room at night, you’ll never have to count sheep again.
Take a closer look at your meter outside your house. Many power companies are switching to smart meters. These meters take the guesswork out of how much energy you are using. Smart meters wirelessly transmit data constantly throughout the day, giving the power companies real-time information about your energy consumption. Smart meters take the place of meter readers. Smart meters, however, transmit harmful levels of radiation. If you can, get a smart meter guard to protect you and your family from harmful radiation. You can purchase a smart meter guard for your router and cell phone for under $100.
By reducing your risk of radiation, you can improve your chances of staying healthy and living a long and joyful life.
If you have kids, pay attention to the Wi-Fi situation at school and in their classrooms. Some studies link ADD, ADHD, memory issues, and behavior problems with Wi-Fi routers and nearby cell towers. Cell phone towers are a big business for school districts. Many districts across the country are selling or renting land for cell phone towers. If this is happening in your neighborhood, speak up. It’s only going to become more prevalent with the rollout of 5G.
Why Are Companies Pushing 5G?
5G is the wave of the future. This advanced bandwidth will allow you to download movies in a matter of seconds and is expected to support at least a100 billion devices. That’s a whole lot of devices one bandwidth. In general, 5G will be up to 100 times faster than 4G. That’s fast!
5G stands for 5 th generation cellular technology. This is the latest development in the cellular world. Major cell phone companies and other tech giants are making progress right now to be ready to launch 5G capable devices by 2020.
I won’t get over technical but in general, 5G will make technology faster, smarter and create a more connected world. According to Tech Radar, 5G will have an average download speed of about 1GBps (1 gigabyte per second).
With faster connectivity, this network will be capable of supporting the Internet of Things, your personal devices and various networks without any delay. Plus, with 5G the connections will be more reliable as well. No more dropped calls or delays when trying to browse the internet.
“It’s all about making better use of the radio spectrum and enabling far more devices to access the mobile internet at the same time”-BBC.
5G is being touted as the golden ticket to cellular connectivity. More speed, less waiting and more people and things connected than ever before. However, as I mentioned earlier, advances in technology will no doubt have an impact on our health- impacts we may not even realize are happening until it’s too late.
How Will 5G Work?
5G is the super highway for speed, information, and connections. To create this incredible speed and reliability, 5G uses the millimeter wave. This millimeter wave operates between 30GHZ and 300 GHz. According to the BBC, “The higher-frequency bands have a lot of capacity but their shorter wavelengths mean their range is lower.” This means the 5G signal is easily blocked by buildings, cars, planes, plants and other objects.
Because the signal will face so many obstacles, an entire web of small-mini cell towers will need to go up in every city, on every block in every neighborhood around the world. No word yet on exactly how many towers or small masts will need to be installed to support this network. It could easily add up to billions of towers.
A recent article in the UK estimated at least 400,000 extra phone masts would be needed to bring rural Britain to be 5G compatible. That’s just the rural part of Britain. It’s estimated there could be thousands of extra small masts in every single city around the world.
According to experts, the 5G masts will be about four feet tall- not nearly the same height as needed with 4G and 3G networks. These towers will be around every corner and will make communicating with your house, car, and family a breeze. However, being that connected- with so many signals around may cause major health problems. I’ll address this later on in this article.
So, who decides where these towers will go? That’s a great question and one local government across the country and world are addressing right now. However, internet and cell phone providers have lobbyists working with state lawmakers to restrict how much say local government has as to where and when the 5G network cell towers will be placed. As I write this article, 13 states have laws on the books to limit local governments from having a say in the 5G process.
The Difference Between 3G, 4G, and 5G
To understand why 5G cell towers are more dangerous than other cell towers, we need to take a closer look at how each network operates. As I mentioned earlier, 5G is the 5 th generation of cellular technology and needs shorter waves to function at a high speed. Shorter waves mean there’s a greater need for more cell towers because these specific waves have lots of obstacles.
Let’s start with 3G. 3G stands for the 3 rd generation of cellular technology. This advancement in technology was unveiled in 2003. 3G operates using cellular technology, as in the signals are passed from tower to tower. Then onto the next cell phone tower and so on. This continues until you answer your phone, find your answer on Google and finish watching YouTube.
Cell phone companies strategically place the cell towers in various locations and different heights to give you the best signal possible. 3G was mostly used to make phone calls, texting, and limited internet use.
With 3G the signal can travel farther- however, there has to be another tower around to pick up the signal and you’re moving. If there isn’t another tower then you experience a temporary interruption in service. With 3G you need fewer towers than 5G to operate. Fewer towers mean less exposure to potentially harmful cell tower radiation.
3G is also referred to as mobile broadband. This term became a catchy way to sell phones and tablets in the mid-2000s. Mobile broadband basically means there are enough cell towers to keep your signal connected while you’re moving around town or traveling around the world!
The data speeds for 3G are much slower than 4G and certainly much slower than 5G.
Let’s take a closer look at 4G. 4G is what most of us are using today. It’s the reason you can Facetime with your best friend in Europe or download an entire movie on your tablet. Some tech experts describe 4G as removing speed bumps in the cellular signal, “allowing traffic to move much faster.”
4G uses cell towers, just like with 3G- however, the speed at which data and information can travel is much different. 4G uses more bandwidth than 3G, which means towers need to be more powerful. The more powerful the cell phone towers, the more potential for radiation to be emitted into our environment.
Even though 4G is more powerful than the 3G network- it’s not nearly as powerful as 5G. 5G is the super horse, a new wave of technology designed to connect everything via the internet. It’s a game changer. This big shift could mean big health consequences as well.
Future of 5G
The future is here and companies are building the infrastructure needed to create a full world-wide rollout of 5G by 2020. AT&T is leading the way in this major effort to make cities 5G compatible. In July, the tech giant announced plans to have the 5G infrastructure in place and ready to go in 12 cities by the end of this year. Verizon and T-Mobile are also planning limited rollouts of 5G in the next year or so.
There is still a lot of work to be done on the 5G front. In May, Verizon announced Los Angeles will be one of the first cities in America to make the move to 5G. This is not a small feat by any means. According to an article in Tech Crunch, Lowell McAdam, Chief Executive for Verizon, said the company purchased 36 million miles of fiber so they can support the hundreds of megahertz of bandwidth needed to deliver “the whole suite of 5G.” McAdam said Verizon has added 1,000 extra cell sites in LA to make the 5G experience possible.
Verizon also has plans to bring Boston and other major cities into the 5G era as soon as possible. AT&T announced it’s working on 5G capabilities in Atlanta, Dallas, and Waco, TX. Sprint says its bringing 5G to NYC, Phoenix and Kansas City.
Right now, AT&T is running 5G trials in Waco, TX, and Dallas. South Korea unveiled its 5G system during the Winter Olympics this year.
South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, Japan, and China are also working hard to create a seamless transition to 5G. Some industry insiders are calling the 5G networks a technological revolution. The information, data, and insights made possible by 5G will change how people interact with each other and how businesses operate. According to one article I recently read, 5G has the power to increase revenue across a variety of industries- to the tune of $12 trillion dollars. Yes, trillion dollars.
“Unlike its predecessors though, 5G is a technological paradigm shift, akin to the shift from typewriter to computer. And it isn’t just a network. 5G will become the underlying fabric of an entire ecosystem of fully connected intelligent sensors and devices, capable of overhauling economic and business policies, and further blurring geographical and cultural borders. It will be capable of delivering at every rung of the ecosystem’s ladder and will provide seamless, continuous connectivity for business applications,” Technology Review.
“All industries will feel the effects of the shift to 5G. In particular, automotive, health care, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to bring about dramatic transformations in our daily lives.”- Technology Review.
Most companies in the United States hope to have the 5G infrastructure in place by 2020. Each country has its own timeline on a 5G rollout.
Will I need a new Phone/Tablet?
Yes, you will most likely need to buy a new phone to take advantage of the speed and reliability promised by 5G. However, if you like your phone and don’t want to spend the extra money, your current 4G phone will continue to work just fine- for now.
As I mentioned earlier, 5G offers more bandwidth- which means it can support more data. This network is also more reliable. Some cell phone and tech companies are already offering 5G compatible phones and tablets that make the most out of the new technology.
Your phone is only part of the 5G equation. You may have to pay more for 5G service. It’s unclear what the new plans will cost, but it’s likely all the major carriers will be competitive to keep customers from jumping ship. In general, you get what you pay for. Better service will mean you will have to pay at least more than your currently used to. Time to start your 5G fund!
5G and You
There’s no doubt 5G will change our physical and virtual landscape. However, it’s clear this technology comes with major health concerns too. The wave of the future may also mean a wave of new cancers, illnesses, and disabilities.
More research and studies need to be completed before the entire 5G rollout is complete. The potential health consequences associated with the 5G infrastructure is too great to ignore. If you can, stay in contact with your government and advocate for local control over where 5G mini cell towers are located. We must approach this new technology with respect and caution.”
For more information on the dangers of cell phone tower radiation check out my blog, Is Cell Phone Tower Radiation Harmful?
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