Today, many of us have our phone in hand at all times. Whether it’s fear of missing an important work call, the constant need to check social media, or not wanting to break a Snapchat streak, phones are rarely left in a different room than their owners. While this is a problem in itself, there is one serious concern with this phone addiction: taking your phone to the bathroom. Yes, we’ve all probably done it at least once. But did you know that potty-phone syndrome can actually make you sick?
That’s right — your phone addiction can potentially cause illness. Bathrooms are already kind of gross places, even the clean ones. They’re filled with germs, bacteria, and other harmful things that can cause health issues. And guess what? When you bring your phone to the bathroom with you, it can become a carrier for those harmful germs and bacteria.
Phones themselves are already pretty germy. In fact, the average office phone can be home to 25,127 germs per square inch. If that doesn’t gross you out, just think about all of the added germs that can come from the bathroom! Germs can come from the toilet itself, the toilet paper holder, the door handle, faucet handle… the list goes on and on.
This is also becoming a concern with restaurants using touchscreen devices for placing orders and making payments. While these devices have taken ordering and communication to a whole new level, they’re also introducing users to a whole lot of bacteria and germs.
With multiple people sharing the same touchscreen device, germs and bacteria can get passed around at an alarming rate. According to Francine L. Shaw, food safety expert and president of Savvy Food Safety Inc., scientists say that the average cell phone is about 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat! Gross, right? Because of this, restaurants that use touchscreen devices are recommended to clean these devices on a regular basis.
With about half of all cellphone users having a smartphone, that means a lot of germs are spread around on a daily basis. This is why it’s so important to wash your hands as regularly as possible and keep your devices clean.
To wash your phone or other touchscreen devices, try filling a spray bottle half with distilled water and half with 70% isopropyl alcohol. After spraying the mixture on a lint-free cloth, lightly wipe down the device, including the buttons. Doing this once a week will help keep bacteria at bay.
While you can’t prevent germs and bacteria from spreading at all, you can minimize the amount you spread yourself. So do yourself and those around you a favor and stop taking your phone to the bathroom and always wash your hands.