More than ever before, the high usage of smartphones is snowballing and there is no shortage of evidence to this theory as smartphones are designed to be addictive. A recent study, conducted by Deloitte has shown that in the United States smartphone users look at their phone at least 47 times per day. Our phones are essentially fused to our hands demanding constant attention that they accompany us to nearly almost every place we spend time — this includes the bathroom. It might seem extreme to take your phone to the bathroom, but the reality is that many people do it. In fact, recent surveys have shown that 90 percent of people bring their phones into the bathroom. For some of us, it is the lure of social media that makes us take a phone to the bathroom. For others, it is looking through old photos or googling random things like The Germiest Spots in Your Bathroom. But, can you envisage how unsafe this habit is? Perhaps not!
Buzzfeed spoke to two respected germ experts, Doctors Charles Gerba and Kelly Reynold from the University of Arizona, to find out exactly what happens when you are in the bathroom, smartphone in hand. Both experts pointed out that this gross habit can result in phone contamination by germs, pathogens and bacteria mostly from fecal matter which can make you sick. Doctor Reynolds proclaimed that, “When you flush the toilet, water with feces and urine sprays about six feet in every direction.” According to microbiologist and author Jason Tetro, fecal matter can include pathogens like E. coli, strain of bacteria that causes Staph infections and Acinetobacter.
Germs are literally everywhere in the bathroom and surrounding surfaces and will get onto your hands thereby making the risk of phone contamination even greater. Just visualize, you put your contaminated phone close to your mouth when you make a call, or you touch your phone screen then reach up to rub your eye. It’s a recipe for disaster. Having that in mind, Hygiene Doctor, Lisa Ackerley advices you to leave your phone behind when going to the bathroom. She said to The Sun Online, “If you take your phone to the toilet then you risk getting it covered in germs. These germs include anything from norovirus to salmonella. So you don’t want those on your phone.” Doctor Gerba says norovirus is a highly transmittable virus that causes vomiting and adult diarrhea and is usually linked to bad hand-washing.
So if you are at concerned about the transfer of germs and fecal contamination of your phone, then it’s probably best to leave it behind before you proceed to use the bathroom for its intended purpose.