It’s a subject we’ve covered in the past, but one we feel bears revisiting…repeatedly. These days, smartphones and tablet PCs are less accessories, more the added limbs we can’t live without. Or for that matter, be without for more than a few minutes. Even at work, we’re surgically attached to our devices in a manner that would make you think we’d all take a little better care of them.
Especially, when it comes to health and hygiene.
Think of how many times you reach for your phone every hour of every day. Which is the same for everyone else around you. Chances are it’s in a nice case of some sort, has a screen protector fitted and may even be partial to the occasional fingerprint-removal polish. Which is why it might surprise you to learn that it’s perfectly possible for any standard mobile phone to be carrying more bacteria than the actual toilet itself in a male public restroom.
That’s right, the toilet…in a public bathroom…in your pocket. Not to mention, on your hands and face when you use it!
More Than Simple Anecdotes
There are thousands of weird and wonderful anecdotes out there, which supposedly paint a pretty grim picture of mobile phone cleanliness. Most of which are indeed purely anecdotal and somewhat lacking in evidence – the particular finding mentioned above being the result of an actual scientific study in the United Kingdom.
In addition, a worrying percentage of the mobile phones that were analysed tested positive for high levels of the kind of environmental bacteria that really shouldn’t be smeared all over our hands and faces. It makes for pretty horrific reading, but it is nonetheless true to say that the average mobile phone in terms of bacteria can be exposing our hands and faces to conditions as unhygienic as a stall in a fast food restaurant.
But what makes the whole thing even more revolting to think about is the way in which pretty much every single one of us routinely passes around our own devices to show things to our friends and colleagues, as do they. The result is a veritable cocktail of bacteria the likes of which really doesn’t bear thinking about.
Though in order to stay healthy and hygienic, it’s something we really should all be thinking about.
A Simple Solution
What makes all of the above so difficult to swallow is that this kind of bacterial extravaganza can be so easily avoided entirely. These days, most workplaces offer (or at least should offer) access to the kinds of antibacterial wipes and cleaning products that can (and should) be used on a regular basis to keep devices clean. It’s really not as if they cost a great deal to invest in and make use of permanently.
Simply by washing your hands on a regular basis and giving your phone a periodic wipe, you can annihilate pretty much all other bacteria that could otherwise pose a direct risk to your health and wellbeing.
After this, it’s than just a case of who you are and are not willing to let handle your phone to – the same in reverse!