If you haven’t heard of Robert Pattinson yet, you surely will soon. The 26-year-old British actor is currently the most popular celebrity on the planet. In fact, according to celebrity website TMZ, the Los Angeles Police Department has received over 500 calls about the actor over the past few days. So, it would seem that the Robert Pattinson eating phone phenomenon is just as viral as the actor himself.

But is the obsession with eating phones actually a bad habit? Let’s take a closer look.

Why Are People Eating Phones?: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

According to the experts at celebrity website TMZ, the motivation behind the recent obsession with Robert Pattinson appears to stem from his most recent film, Cosmo. In that film, the actor plays a man named Cosmo who witnesses a murder and subsequently develops an unhealthy fixation with the sight of the trigger-happy killer. In an effort to catch the murderer, Cosmo devours several cell phones, seemingly to obtain the shooter’s number.

The scene in which this occurs is particularly gory. First of all, Cosmo is attacked by a hoard of bees. When he finally makes it to safety, he discovers that the murderer has committed suicide. But, in his state of shock, Cosmo fails to notice that the victim is now a corpse and instead eats the man’s severed head. In the final scene of the movie, we see Cosmo devouring the corpse of what he believes is the killer.

It’s a riveting scene, and it’s one of the reasons behind the continuing popularity of Cosmo in light of its relatively recent premiere.

Is It Bad For Your Health?: Experts Vary

The truth is that we don’t know exactly how bad a habit eating phones is for your health. There have been claims that the high temperatures that arise as a result of having a phone in your mouth for a long time can cause serious health problems. If you’re concerned about your own health, it’s best to assume that your phone is unhealthy and put it down. Otherwise, you may be putting yourself at risk of serious illness.

That being said, not all experts agree that eating phones is harmful. For example, the American Institute of Stress points out that there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that holding a phone in your mouth for an extended period of time can cause problems. At the same time, it adds that there are benefits to having a mobile device in your mouth, such as allowing you to access information about your health quickly and accurately.

Similarly, the American Cancer Society states that there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that eating mobile devices puts you at risk of developing cancer. Instead, it says that your phone exposure may simply be a “coincidence” and adds that the real cause may be something entirely different.

Could It Be Addictive?: Possibly

Possibly, but not necessarily. Addiction is a serious issue, and it’s something that you need to be extremely mindful of if you’re concerned about your own mental health. In the case of Cosmo, it’s clear that the film’s namesake suffers from mental health issues. But, as we’ve established, this is something that he has accepted and dealt with in the past. This doesn’t mean that he will or should accept a similar issue in the future.

Similarly, there have been cases where people have developed an unhealthy obsession with their mobile devices. In some of these situations, the individuals in question have reportedly become dependent on their phones and are fearful of being without them for even a moment. In other words, they appear to suffer from ‘phone addiction’.

Is It Bad For The Environment?: Possibly

Possibly, but not necessarily. Just because you’re avoiding a potentially dangerous habit doesn’t mean that you have to be careless with regard to the environment. In fact, you can be quite the opposite. According to some experts, eating phones is good for the environment because it avoids the creation of tons of unnecessary plastic waste.

“Eating a smartphone doesn’t take much energy, so doing it means you’re avoiding using more energy in a wasteful manner,” said Lisa Phu, cofounder of eco-friendly fashion brand Lush Life, in a recent interview with Tech Radar. “And that’s a good thing.”

Is It Genetically Tied?: Most Likely

Most likely, yes. According to the experts at TMZ, people who are genetically predisposed to oral fixation are more likely to develop an unhealthy obsession with eating phones. This could mean that the situation is more common than we think and more prevalent than the issue itself would have you believe.

“Oral fixation is a very genetic thing,” celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Drew Pinsky told TMZ. “Genetically, there are some people who are more likely to have this issue than others.”

It’s important to remember that while we may know a lot about the habits of Hollywood celebrities, we still don’t know a whole lot about their genetics. So, just because some of them are more likely to have problems than others, doesn’t mean that this is an inherent characteristic. For better or worse, it’s still just a matter of chance.

In Short: It Depends

In short, it depends. As we’ve established, not all experts agree that eating phones is bad for your health or mental well-being. This means that while there are potential issues that you need to keep in mind, you certainly don’t have to be overly concerned about it.

And, in the same way you wouldn’t dream of asking your doctor for a second opinion unless you feel that there is genuine cause for concern, you should approach the issue of eating phones with a healthy dose of skepticism. Put the phone down if you’re feeling nervous or anxious and give your mind a rest. Otherwise, you may be putting yourself at unnecessary risk.