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Feb 16, 2018

Does raising your arm to the sky improve your cell reception?

Update Friday, February 16th 8:16AM ET: This article was originally published on December 24, but has been updated with new video.

We've all been desperate for cell service. Maybe you were at a music festival, or out in the woods, or just in your parents' backyard when your phone lost a connection. You probably instinctively threw your arm in the sky in an attempt to get better reception.

I don't know why we do this. It's just a thing we've started doing. Does it help? No, not really.

I talked to Lin Zhong, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University, about this common behavior and whether it actually helps. He firmly said no. Lin tells me, as you can see in the video above, that cell reception is mostly...

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