Once Apple showed off the iPhone, everything shifted dramatically. While Apple’s smartphone (and all its imitators) has opened the door to near-omnipresent access to the internet and the world, new heights of ease, and peak efficiency, it has also introduced numerous insidiously harmful side effects: it has affected the way we think, it isolates and distracts us. Indeed, that’s not even the worst of it. The iPhone has jeopardized one of humanity’s basic rituals: bathroom time.
Chances are you’re reading this while sitting on the toilet. 90% of individuals take their phones with them when they use the restroom, according to a new survey. However, there are several risks to our physical and mental well-being when we use our phones in the bathroom. And before we completely lose it, we need to find a solution to this problem.
1. Germs, Germs, Germs
Using a phone increases your risk of contracting a disease. Microbiologist and author Jason Tetro remarked, “You can easily detect hundreds of bacteria on phones, as well as fungi and yeast.” Most aren’t harmful, but there are several that could get you sick. And if you’re looking for some very nasty ones, you should look in the head. The potential of further contamination of our phones increases since “many bathroom surfaces” such urinals, toilet seats, knobs, sinks, and faucets are covered in bacteria.
And these microbes are no joke. Tetro claims that E. coli (hello, urinary tract infections!) and the staph infection-causing strain of bacteria, as well as the “opportunistic pathogen” Acinetobacter, which uses every opportunity it can find to infect a host and spreads through the respiratory system, are all possible fecal pathogens.
It’s human nature to make a mistake, even if you make it a habit to avoid touching your phone until after you’ve completely washed your hands. The bathroom is a breeding ground for bacteria and other germs. You can take all the precautions you like, but you have no idea what other people have done (or more crucially, not done) to infect every surface. Until a self-cleaning phone case is developed, you should treat your touchscreen after using the restroom as though it were teeming with bacteria and viruses just ready to jump to your swiping finger.