April 1, 2016
You and your smartphone are inseparable. You go to dinner together, you go to the movies together, and you even go on romantic getaways together. After all, those tweets aren’t going to favorite themselves. But there is one location that you should leave off the list of smartphone travel spots: the bathroom.
Recent studies (and basic common sense) have found that scrolling and tinkering with your smartphone in the bathroom can lead to some pretty gross results. If you thought the oil marks on your screen were a problem, just wait until you hear what germ expert Jason Tetro has to say about it.
“You have air pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella, C. difficile, norovirus,” says the author of The Germ Code. “These get deposited onto these devices. That could then lead to either self-infection, or transmission of infection through touching someone else.”
And with the increased use of smartphones in everyday life, the problem is only getting worse. With more than 6.8 billion cell phone subscriptions out in the world and a pressing need for all of them to go to the bathroom at some point, the odds of containing this gross truth seem more and more difficult. In fact, another study shows that 61 percent of smartphone users have used their phone in the bathroom. To make matters worse, 43 percent say they’ve done it more than once a month.
Fortunately, there is a way to combat this issue. Maintaining regular hygiene can keep the cumulative bacteria effect at bay. This doesn’t simply mean washing your hands. You must disinfect your hands, your face and your devices to keep pathogens at a manageable level. Or, we could all commit to leaving our smartphones behind when nature calls. But the last thing any of us want to do is start buying magazine subscriptions again.
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